AoC Sport welcomes latest Stonewall School Report

AoC Sport welcomes the latest version of the Stonewall School report which highlights the issues affecting LGBT people studying in colleges and which can often prevent them from participating in sport or becoming more physically active.

Stonewall is the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) charity working in the UK and has this week published their 2017 School Report, the third version of the report after initial publication in 2007 and again in 2012.

One third of the respondents to the survey are currently studying in Further Education and several sections of the report include Sport & Physical Activity measures which are worth noting for the sector. The report provides a useful insight, especially compared against the 2012 and 2007 reports, to the experiences of young LGBT people in education.

The highlight findings of the report show that

  • Nearly half of LGBT pupils (45 per cent) – including 64 per cent of trans pupils – are bullied for being LGBT in Britain’s schools and colleges. This is down from 55 per cent of lesbian, gay and bi pupils who experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation in 2012 and 65 per cent in 2007
  • Half of LGBT pupils hear homophobic slurs ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ at school or college, down from seven in 10 in 2012
  • Seven in 10 LGBT pupils report that their school or college says that homophobic and biphobic bullying is wrong, up from half in 2012 and a quarter in 2007. However, just two in five LGBT pupils report that their schools or colleges say that transphobic bullying is wrong
  • More than four in five trans young people have self-harmed, as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans
  • More than two in five trans young people have attempted to take their own life, and one in five lesbian, gay and bi students who aren’t trans have done the same.
  • 59% of students who identify as Trans say they are not able to play for the sports team they feel comfortable with because of their gender.

AoC Sport embeds a policy of equal rights to safety and protection from harm into all of our work and has developed a fair and inclusive Transgender Policy to ensure that students wanting to compete in our competitions can participate without unnecessary barriers.

We applaud the programmes which many colleges across the UK are running to ensure that LGBT students have equal access and encouragement to take part in sport and physical activity at college, noting several colleges taking part in college-wide campaigns for Pride Month, World Aids Day and several local activities. Successful programmes include Loughborough College who have recently been running a college-wide programme of ‘Proud to Play’ utilising Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign and spreading their messages of equality and inclusion through activities and social media.

AoC Sport has recently contributed to sector-wide forums on ensuring that Sport is inclusive and will be proud to continue not only ensuring that sport in FE is inclusive for LGBT students but all those who might otherwise be disadvantaged or dissuaded from taking part and becoming more active.  This is in line with the mission to get every student active.