Thu, 9 December 2021

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By Women in Westminster

Government must guarantee the rights of LGBTI teachers, says the NASUWT

NASUWT

2 min read Partner content

At the largest gathering of LGBTI teachers, organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers union in the UK, teachers have reported there is still a long way to go for LGBTI equality in the workplace.


Six in 10 (61%) teachers at the NASUWT’s LGBTI Teachers’ Consultation Conference, held today (Saturday) in Birmingham, said homophobic and/or transphobic ‘banter’ is endemic in the workplace.

And more than half did not feel their workplace was a safe environment for LGBTI staff.

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

  • LGBTI teachers were reluctant to disclose their LGBTI status to their employers – less than one-quarter (24%) said their LBGTI status is ‘known’ in their workplace;
  • 17% said they have experienced unfair treatment at work over the last 12 months because of their LGBTI status;
  • Around two-fifths (37%) of teachers at the conference felt that more training was necessary in order to ensure effective LGBTI equality practice in all schools.

To support schools in ensuring they are inclusive spaces for all staff and pupils, the NASUWT has today launched new guidance on trans-awareness.

Trans Equality in Schools and Colleges offers advice and guidance for teachers and leaders, with an aim to raising awareness to make sure that schools and colleges are supportive environments for everyone. 

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“It is scandalous that in the 21st century teachers are reporting that it is still an issue to be a teacher who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex and that many LGBTI teachers do not feel safe in their schools.

“Too many schools choose to dismiss homophobic, biphobic or transphobic comments as ‘banter’ when it should be recognised as discrimination, harassment and bullying.

“Today’s Conference raised concerns about rising inequality, hatred and fear in the wake of Brexit. The Government needs a clear and effective strategy to ensure that LGBTI equality and rights of all workers are secured and guaranteed for the future.

“This needs to start with action to ensure that all schools demonstrate their commitment to creating a climate where LGBTI staff feel valued, respected and safe."

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