SCHOOLS FAILING TO PROMOTE LGBTI EQUALITY AND CHALLENGE PREJUDICE

Too many schools are still failing to educate pupils about same sex relationships and promote LGBTI equality and inclusiveness, teachers have told the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union.

Teachers attending the Union’s LGBTI Teachers’ Consultation Conference today (Saturday) in Birmingham raised concerns that many schools are still failing to tackle homo/bi/transphobia.

A real-time electronic poll of members attending the Conference found that:

  • Only 32% said that their school includes same sex relationships as part of its teaching about relationships and families;
  • 56% said they had witnessed some backlash from either pupils, parents or colleagues when their school tried to teach pupils about LGBTI relationships & equality;
  • 41% said they feel their school does not take tackling homo/bi/transphobia seriously.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Schools have a very important role to play in promoting LGBTI equality, which starts with ensuring the curriculum is inclusive and that a strong message is sent to the whole school community that homo/bi or transphobic abuse or bullying will not be tolerated.

“Schools should be safe environments where staff and students of all sexual and gender identities feel included and respected. Where LGBTI equality is not mainstreamed into the work of a school this is unlikely be to the case.

“We need greater support for schools in taking forward this work and action where schools do not promote a culture of inclusiveness.”

NASUWT COMMENTS ON NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE SPEECH

Commenting on a speech by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in which he set out Labour’s commitment to developing a National Education Service, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT looks forward to continuing to engage constructively with the Labour Party on the development of its National Education Service.

“It is clear that the absence of any strategic direction for the education system under the current Government’s academisation programme is letting down children, young people and the hard working staff in our schools. We therefore welcome the Labour Party’s work to forge an alternative way forward for our education system.

“The NASUWT has identified the need for greater investment in and focus on professional development and learning opportunities for employees throughout their working lives. However, too many employers still fail to step up the plate.

“Ironically, the education service is one of the worst sectors in this regard. Teachers continually report to the NASUWT that they fail to get access to the training they need or to even engage their employers’ interest in the issue. The NASUWT has long called for a statutory entitlement for all teachers to high-quality ongoing training and development.

“In order to examine these issues comprehensively, the needs of those responsible for educating the next generation of working people must be given high priority in the Commission’s work.”