Quarter of LGBT Teachers Hide Sexuality: New statistics released as part of NASUWT research at the LGBT Teachers’ Consultation Conference has found that only a third of teachers agreed that they can be open about their sexuality in school and be safe, with one in four feeling that they have to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity within their professional life. In addition, of those attending the Conference, more than half had experienced homophobia, bi-phobia, or trans-phobia as part of their career in education.
According to the survey, less than a quarter felt that the Government has a good record on advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender teachers.
The findings from NASUWT follow several other recent reports which suggest that homophobic bullying is a major issue in schools, including a poll released in November 2014 which found that nine in ten Scottish secondary school teachers confirmed homophobic bullying was still happening in their school, with only 16% of teachers having been trained to deal with the issue.
Similarly, a report published by Stonewall Wales found that one in three secondary teachers have heard their colleagues using homophobic language, with almost a quarter (23%) of Welsh primary staff surveyed saying the same. In addition, the findings (released in December 2014) suggested that the majority of primary school staff (84%) and almost half of secondary school staff (45%) in Wales felt their school did not allow them to teach about LGBT issues, or did not know whether they were allowed to teach about them.
Section 28, a piece of legislation introduced in the 1980s which prohibited local authorities (including schools) from ‘intentionally promoting homosexuality’, or from publishing material ‘with the intention of promoting homosexuality’ or from promoting ‘the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality’ was repealed in June 2000 in Scotland, in November 2003 across the rest of the UK.
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