Poll found that teachers aren’t comfortable with being out at their school.
During Saturday’s LGBTI Teachers’ Consultation Conference, a real-time electronic poll of members attending the event found that 30 per cent were not currently out at school.
The event, which was held by the NASUWT teachers’ union, serves as a space for LGBTQ+ members to discuss issues and challenges they face, as well as being able to share experiences and meet others in a safe, inclusive environment.
Some of the reasons for attendees as to why they chose to keep quiet about their sexuality was due to fears of homophobia and stereotyping amongst pupils and colleagues.
In the same poll taken at the event, 38 per cent of attendees said they had experienced discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation in the past year because of their LGBTQ+ identity.
In a press release, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said of the issues facing LGBTQ+ teachers:
Being ‘out’ in the workplace is a matter of personal choice, but too many LGBTI teachers tell us they would like to be out but do not feel their school is a safe environment for them to do so.
Schools which are not inclusive environments for LGBTI staff are unlikely to be supportive environments for LGBTI pupils either.
The event also found that 58 per cent of attendees had experienced stereotypical assumptions based on their LGBTQ+ identity from their colleagues at school, whilst 29 per cent agreed that anti-LGBTQ+ bullying had increased or stayed the same in their school over the last few years.
Shockingly, 49 per cent said they also wouldn’t be able to recommend a teaching career to their family and friends due to their experiences.