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Promoting Equal Opportunities in Education - Project Two: Guidance On Dealing With Homophobic Incidents: Phase 1 Report and Recommendations

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1: Research Aims and Objectives

The overarching aim of Phase 1 of this project was to review the practice that schools and EAs employ to deal with homophobic incidents, prejudice and harassment and gauge the awareness levels of staff and pupils in identifying and addressing such incidents.

The original research objectives were related to homophobic incidents alone. However, it soon became clear that homophobic incidents, awareness levels and ways of dealing with incidents could not be effectively explored without looking into the wider issues of staff confidence, barriers to dealing with incidents, homophobia and heterosexism 1 in Scottish schools and anti-homophobia work with pupils. It was therefore agreed with SEED that the objectives were expanded to include these issues as it was vital that the initial research be as extensive as possible to provide a sound basis for the series of recommendations:

  • To identify current policy in relation to homophobic incidents in Scottish schools, both from the perspectives of EAs and school staff
  • To identify current practice in dealing with homophobic incidents in Scottish schools, both from the perspectives of EAs and school staff
  • To determine awareness levels of homophobic incidents amongst EAs and school staff
  • To determine confidence levels amongst school staff in dealing with homophobic incidents
  • To determine confidence levels amongst school staff in discussing anti-homophobia and LGBT issues with pupils
  • To gain information about possible confidence building measures for school staff to ensure a consistent effective approach to recognizing and dealing with homophobic incidents
  • To gain information about the experiences of young people currently or recently attending Scottish schools and compare them to findings from EA and schools research
  • To make a series of recommendations to SEED based on the research with Education Authorities, schools and young people and therefore inform activity in Phase 2 of the project.