school worker
Gay pupils are being bullied by teachers in the UK Reuters

One in five gay pupils are being bullied by teachers in Britain because of their sexual orientation, a new report has found - branding it a "national shame".

The Boys Who Like Boys survey, the largest of its kind, questioned more than 1,000 gay or bisexual male teens aged between 14 and 19, on their treatment in schools across the country.

Over half of the survey respondents experienced bullying and discrimination because of their sexual orientation, of which 39% revealed the homophobic discrimination came from a teacher or another adult at school.

Ninety nine per cent of pupils also stated they had been bullied or discriminated against by their fellow peers.

The findings have been branded as "utterly unacceptable" by the National Aids Trust, which conducted the report.

"It's an incredibly high number," said Deborah Gold, the trust's chief executive. "The idea that teachers or other adults at school are sometimes responsible for bullying and discrimination is utterly unacceptable. It's definitely an area I'd want to know more about. It's a worryingly high enough statistic that you'd want to find out how that is impacting on young people."

Over a quarter of pupils were not aware how HIV could be transmitted. Almost a third did not know you cannot contract the disease by kissing, and three quarters didn't know about the preventative HIV PEP drug, which can be taken up to 72 hours after exposure.

Gold added: "We are failing a generation of young men. It is vital that young MSM [men who have sex with men] are equipped with the right information and knowledge to support their sexual health and emotional well-being. Our research published today [9 March] shows that this is not the case. We have found significant gaps in HIV knowledge, sub-standard sex and relationships education at school, and endemic levels of homophobic bullying.

"As a result we continue to see high numbers of new HIV diagnoses and disproportionate levels of poor mental health and problematic drug and alcohol use.

"It is our duty to ensure that young people are safe and supported in school, and leave school with enough knowledge and resilience to look after themselves. Currently this just isn't happening – and it is a national shame."