A conference in Birmingham with the theme “A Better Deal For LGBTQI Teachers” will today (11 June) discuss the increasing problem of abuse directed at LGBTQI teachers in the UK. The NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union’s LGBTQI Teachers’ Consultation Conference will debate how to tackle the worrying levels of harassment and discrimination teachers face because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
A recent survey revealed that almost six out of ten (59 per cent) LGBTQI union members had personally experienced homophobia, biphobia or transphobia in the workplace. Of the teachers who had experienced discrimination, 68 per cent said that it came from students, 49 per cent cited teachers or other staff as responsible, while a quarter of incidents came from parents.
Not doing enough
The NASUWT’s LGBTQI Equality Survey also revealed that:
- 68 per cent of respondents had witnessed homophobia, 20 per cent had witnessed biphobia and 45 per cent had witnessed transphobia in their workplace.
- 76 per cent do not think their schools or colleges are doing enough to promote LGBTI equality.
- 26 per cent said there are no mechanisms or processes for reporting LGBTI harassment or discrimination in their workplace.
- 29 per cent are not confident that an incident of LGBTI discrimination, bullying or harassment reported to their employer would be taken seriously and investigated appropriately.
Dr Patrick Roach, the union’s general secretary, commented: “School and college employers who are failing in their statutory duty to protect LGBTI teachers from discrimination, harassment and victimisation at work are breaking the law and they must be held to account.
“There must be a zero-tolerance approach to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia so that our schools and colleges are safe and secure places where teachers can teach and pupils can learn free from the threat of prejudice, abuse and violence.
“We need to see every school and college employer putting in place effective systems for reporting and dealing with cases of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic discrimination, bullying and harassment.
“It’s high time the Government takes seriously the realities facing too many of our teachers and takes steps to ensure that LGBTI staff are included and respected at work.
“Providing pupils with an LGBTI-inclusive curriculum must also be an integral part of efforts to tackle the problem of prejudice and abuse in schools.”