Education staff say pupils have been victims of hate crime at school

Twenty-two per cent of education staff believes that pupils have been subjected to hate crime or hate speech while at school in the last academic year.

According to a poll of members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), 17 per cent of the 235 who responded about hate crime specifically said they feel there has been an increase in hate crime or speech in the last year.

The survey showed that 12 per cent of respondents thought pupils were bullied because of their ethnicity, 12 per cent because of their race, and 12 per cent because of their sexual orientation.

However, almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of education staff feel that pupils are bullied because they are perceived as being different from the ‘norm’.

Eighteen per cent believe that pupils are bullied because of their socioeconomic status, for example living in poverty or in wealth.

In addition to this, 84 per cent believe that education about hate crime, hate speech and discrimination should be included in mandatory Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and age-appropriate Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).

Despite 53 per cent saying their school provides the support they need to report incidents of hate crime or speech, 33 per cent said they haven’t received any training on how to deal with hate crime or speech, but that they would like some.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL believes that “the government needs to produce updated guidance that includes discussion of hate crime and speech and encourages critical thinking.”

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