The smooth running of any school is a challenge, without the extra concerns that the school premises are a safe environment and the staff working there are aware of risks and - where necessary - how to remain compliant with legislation.
More needs to be done for LGBTI equality in schools
Teachers have reported there is still more to do to ensure LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, intersex people) equality in schools for all staff and pupils.
Teachers attending the LGBTI Teachers’ Consultation Conference, organised by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union today, 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 per cent) said they have experienced discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation in the last 12 months because of their LGBTI identity.
Nearly six in ten (58 per cent) said they have experienced colleagues making stereotypical assumptions about them based on their LGBTI identity.
Thirty per cent said they are not ‘out; at school, and 29 per cent said that levels of anti-LGBTI bullying and language have increased or stayed the same in their school in recent years.
Almost half (49 per cent) 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."Read more