EHRC - Identity and Prejudice Based Bullying -
"EHRC Triennial Review, 'How fair is Britain?’” focused attention on the need to tackle the high incidence of identity-based bullying of young people, both within schools and the wider community.
Reducing incidence of homophobic, transphobic, disability-related and religiously motivated bullying in schools and workplaces was identified as one of the 15 significant challenges for society to address.
EHRC new research report, "Prevention and Response to Identity Based Bullying among Local Authorities in England, Scotland and Wales”, responds directly to this. The overall aim of the report is to establish the extent and effectiveness of local authorities and schools actions to prevent and respond to prejudice-based bullying of young people both inside and outside of school, on the grounds of disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief or sexual orientation.
Summary of EHRC findings:
- ‘Identity-based’ (or ‘Prejudice-based’) bullying is widespread and continues to blight the lives of many young people, affecting educational attainment and having a long term impact on their life chances. A common cause is children’s, and sometimes teacher’s poor understanding of diversity.
- Schools and local authorities need to know the reasons for and the extent of bullying. Recording incidents of the different types of prejudice-based bullying is therefore crucial. EHRC's survey revealed support for a statutory requirement to record and report incidents of prejudice-based bullying, in order to understand the problem, know the extent of bullying and target action and resources where they are needed most.
- Greater guidance and support is needed to help schools take action against prejudice-based bullying and focus attention on particular areas. Central government guidance, such as ‘Safe to Learn’ has been well received and more practical guidance from government and non-government organisations was asked for by some respondents.
- In order to effectively tackle this form of bullying, specific preventative strategies must be adopted such as a ‘whole school approach’ which considers all the equality strands, and focuses on tackling prejudice. Focus within: whole school policies, equality action plans, assemblies, PHSE and citizenship curriculum. Bullying of this type is a response to prejudice and may happen due to poor understanding of diversity. Bullying of LGBT young people and disabled children, including those with learning difficulties shows a particularly strong relationship to prejudiced attitudes held throughout the school.
What EHRC will do next: -
EHRC want the new research to act as a catalyst for action. It identifies some solutions to the issue, and EHRC forthcoming policy roundtable aims to start discussions on how EHRC can get coordinated action across the Government, education and voluntary sector to tackle the issue.
Link to EHRC Identity Based Bullying Report: -
Link to EHRC Triennial Review: How Fair Is Britian: -
Link to Department Of Education "Safe To Learn" Document: -