One in four LGBT teachers feel the need to hide their sexual orientation at schools

Less than half feel their school take the issues of homophobia, transphobia or bi phobia against teachers or pupils seriously

Nearly a quarter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teachers feel they need to hide their sexual orientation at school, according to the largest teachers’ union in the UK.

Union NASUWT found at its LGBT Teachers’ Consultation on Saturday that more than half of its members in attendance said they had experienced homophobia, bi phobia or transphobia during their teaching career.

Twelve per cent of those attending said they had experienced verbal abuse at schools, and only a third of LGBT teachers felt they could be out and safe in schools. Less than half of those surveyed felt their school took homophobia, transphobia or bi phobia against teachers or pupils seriously.

 

A total of 95 per cent of those surveyed felt this Coalition Government’s decision not to equalise pension survivor benefits to civil partners or same sex couples on cost grounds is unjustifiable, while less than 25 per cent believed the government had a good record of advancing LGBT equality.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the Conference, said it is “scandalous” that teachers are reporting homophobia is still an issue for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pupils and staff, and that many LGBT teachers do not feel safe in their schools.

“Despite assertions to the contrary, the Coalition Government has rolled back the progress made over decades on equality and we see the adverse impact this is having on teachers and pupils in our schools.

“Post the General Election, we need a government which is committed to creating a climate in our schools where all children and young people and staff feel respected and safe,” he said.

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