Thousands more teachers will be trained in tackling anti-gay bullying as part of a government bid to eradicate homophobia in schools.

Minsters have announced £1m of new funding for a programme that helps teachers learn how to spot and respond to early signs of bullying.

The programme has already been introduced in 1,200 schools but will now be expanded following the cash injection.

A further £1m will be spent on ensuring health services are meeting the needs of LGBT people.

And £600,000 will be made available to help community groups engage with LGBT people in their area, taking the total investment to £2.6m.

Penny Mordaunt, the women and equalities minister, also vowed to appoint an expert panel to advise the government on LGBT issues.

Charities Stonewall, the LGBT Foundation and the LGBT Consortium will take three of the places while a further nine will be filled in the coming weeks.

Ms Mordaunt said: “Everyone in this country should feel safe and happy to be who they are, to love who they love, and to live their lives without judgement or fear.

“That’s why this government is stepping up its work to tackle bullying in schools, to protect more children and to stop hatred from festering and growing in to discrimination in adulthood.

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“The aim of our action plan is that everyone can live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination.” 

The funding forms part of a £4.5m government fund for promoting LGBT rights, as promised in ministers' 75-point LGBT action plan.

The focus on ensuring NHS services are meeting the specific needs of LGBT patients comes after a major survey found 16 per cent of people reporting a negative experience of health services as a result of their sexual orientation. 



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