Bullying is a chronic problem in schools | Photo: Pexels
LGBTI bullying is the most common type of bullying in UK schools, a new study has found.
The number of students who had experienced anti-LGBTI bullying exceeded instances involving racism, sexism, or religious beliefs.
The findings, which come from a YouGov survey, revealed that 13% of children had experienced bullying due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This compares with 11% who were bullied because of their race, 7% because of their sex, and 2% because of their religion.
The findings come amid an ongoing dispute over whether LGBTI-inclusivity classes should be taught in UK schools.
Numerous public and political figures have expressed support for inclusive teaching.
However, there have been protests against LGBTI-inclusivity classes in some parts of the country.
The YouGov study polled over 1,000 teachers working in UK schools, Sky News reports.
71% of the teachers polled also said they had witnessed homophobic bullying at schools. 35% said they witnessed homophobic bullying at least once a month.
The findings also showed that there is majority support for LGBTI-inclusivity education in schools.
59% of people said that there should be some form of LGBTI-inclusivity education in schools. This compares to 25% who said they were against LGBTI-inclusive education and 16% who said they were unsure.
The survey coincided with a separate YouGov survey which found that an increasing number of young people in the UK were identifying as LGBTI.
This was particularly true for people who are bisexual. The survey found that the number of 18- to 25-year-olds who considered themselves bisexual was eight times higher than the findings from a similar survey taking in 2015.
The UK government will introduce initiatives for LGBTI-inclusivity eduction, due to come into effect in 2020.
However, the moves to introduce such education in some UK schools have received notable pushback.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been numerous protests outside schools in Birmingham over LGBTI-inclusivity classes.
This came after locals began expressing opposition to the No Outsiders program.
The initiative was introduced in Parkfield Community School by assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat. No Outsiders teaches school children about same-sex couples and gender identity. The protestors say that primary school children are too young to learn about the LGBTI issues taught in the classes.
In June, a High Court injunction banned demonstrations from taking place outside of Anderton Park Primary School, which had become a target of protests.
A number of schools with similar programs suspended the classes due to protests. But on Wednesday (3 July), Parkfield school said it would be resuming LGBTI-inclusivity classes in September.
A number of political figures have come forward to express support for the Birmingham schools, and for LGBTI-inclusivity education in general. This includes Education Secretary Damian Hinds and Schools Minister Nick Gibb.
Labour MP Angela Eagle has also spoken passionately about the need for education on LGBTI issues in UK schools. Eagle, one of the most senior openly gay politicians in Britain, said the protests risked ‘taking the UK back to the 1980s’.