STILL FAR MORE TO DO TO SECURE LGBTI EQUALITY IN SCHOOLS

Teachers have reported there is still more to do to ensure LGBTI equality in schools for all staff and pupils.

Teachers attending the LGBTI Teachers’ Consultation Conference, organised by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union today (Saturday) in Birmingham, raised concerns that progress on tackling discrimination and advancing equality has been rolled back or hampered as a result of changes in the political climate in the last 18 months.

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

  • Over a third (38%) said they have experienced discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation in the last 12 months because of their LGBTI identity;
  • Nearly six in ten (58%) said they have experienced colleagues making stereotypical assumptions about them based on their LGBTI identity;
  • 30% said they are not ‘out’ at school;
  • Nearly a third (29%) said that levels of anti LGBTI bullying and language have increased or stayed the same in their school in recent years;
  • Nearly half (49%) say they would not recommend teaching as a career to family or friends.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“It is deeply worrying that some LGBTI teachers report experiencing and hearing more homophobic language within schools and that incidents of hate crime and hate speech have increased more generally.

“Being ‘out’ in the workplace is a matter of personal choice, but too many LGBTI teachers tell us they would like to be out but do not feel their school is a safe environment for them to do so.

“Schools which are not inclusive environments for LGBTI staff are unlikely to be supportive environments for LGBTI pupils either.

“It is important that schools take their responsibilities on promoting equality and respect seriously to create an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and safe."

ANOTHER DAMNING REPORT ON TEACHER SUPPLY

Commenting on the Public Accounts Committee’s report Retaining and Developing the Teaching Workforce, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“We have now had numerous official public bodies highlighting the lack of effective action by this Government to address the deep teacher recruitment and retention crisis. The Committee is to be commended for the particular clarity and rigour of its analysis in setting out the scale of the teacher supply emergency facing the education system.

“The reasons for this crisis should by now be crystal clear to this Government.

“Ever rising workloads, particularly driven by oppressive marking and assessment regime and administrative tasks. Uncompetitive salary levels as a result of years of cuts, caps and freezes.

“Teacher burnout manifesting itself in spiralling levels of mental and physical ill health.

“Deep anger and frustration across the profession.

“The Committee rightly highlights the unequivocal evidence presented to it by the NASUWT that a key driver of the current crisis in teacher numbers is the number of existing teachers leaving the profession, often taking with them valuable years of knowledge, skill and expertise.

“Unless the Government accepts the mounting evidence, grasps the nettle and takes action to address effectively the problems they have created the position will only deteriorate further.”