MORE than one third of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils experienced a hate crime or incident in the past year, according to a new survey.

A poll of nearly 700 LGBT pupils also found 94 per cent said they had been bullied while 46 per cent rated their experience at school as “bad”.

Of those that had been bullied nearly three quarters said it was because they were lesbian, gay or bisexual.

The survey, by LGBT Youth Scotland, also heard first hand from the experiences of LGBT pupils.

One told them: “The pupils are openly homophobic and transphobic and it is brushed off and goes unnoticed.”

Another said: “I don’t always feel safe in class. I couldn’t concentrate on my work because I was worrying about how to make sure I didn’t come up against bullies.”

A third said: “Far too many schools are too lenient with pupils who are committing hate crimes because they don’t see it as serious.”

Euan Duncan, professional officer for the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said: “Some schools now have well-established LGBT groups although they are not as common as they need to be .

“Local budget cuts to school support staff could undermine the growing number of schools working hard to improve the way in which LGBT young people are supported.”

Andrew Bradley, assistant secretary for the Educational Institute of Scotland called for more professional learning for teachers on equality, more pupil support teachers and and more time to develop and implement robust equality policies.”

A spokesman for council umbrella body Cosla told the Times Educational Supplement Scotland: School staff, alongside other council staff, are working hard to ensure that the school environment is a safe and inclusive one for every young person.”

The Scottish Government has set up a review to look at how the experience of LGBTI pupils can be improved.

The group was established after the Time for Inclusive Education campaign called for new legislation to enshrine LGBTI education as a requirement for all schools.

The campaign also wants it to be made a requirement for teachers to be trained on tackling homophobic abuse and well as making it mandatory for schools to record instances of associated bullying.