Words: Steve Brown
Around four in 10 LGBTQ teachers in the UK have personally experienced homophobia, biphobia or transphobia while at work.
According to a new report from teachers' union NASUWT, around 40 per cent of LGBTQ teachers had witnessed homophobia, biphobia and transphobia behaviour directed at their colleagues.
While carrying out a poll at its LGBTQ teachers’ consultation conference, up to 17 per cent of those polls said they had seen this happen on ‘many occasions’.
Around 13 per cent said they did not feel safe coming out to anyone at work.
NASUWT’s acting general secretary Chris Keates said: “While it was heartening to hear some of the examples of good practice and positive experiences shared at the conference by LGBTI teachers, it is worrying that discriminatory and prejudiced behaviours remain so commonplace in our schools.
“While being out at school or college is a personal choice, teachers should not feel uncomfortable or unsafe to be themselves in the workplace and no teacher should be facing abuse or hostility because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
One in ten respondents also admitted they would not feel able to report anti-LGBTQ incidents.
Keates continued: “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 to be the case.
“We need greater support for schools in taking forward this work and action where schools do not promote a culture of inclusiveness.”