Challenging Stereotypes and Fighting for Liberation 

Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“Despite the valiant efforts of so many schools, it is still the case that many young people hear, share and express homophobic, transphobic and sexist attitudes and language on a frequent basis. This is harmful and undermining to students who are LGBT+ or who are questioning their gender identity. 

“Sometimes, schools don't realise the importance of consistently challenging homophobic, transphobic and sexist language, taking incidents seriously and using a preventative holistic approach to attitudes and cultures. There is so much good practice to share. The goal must be to show what is possible and educate about how LGBT+ inclusion and anti -sexist pedagogy can be part and parcel of good teaching and positive school values. 

“Young people are in many ways more accepting, compared to previous generations. They are keen to support each other's identities and relationships, but there are still many sources of prejudice and intolerance including far right groups which target material online at young people. 

“Today, NEU Conference identified the need for more training to make the connection between sexist language, homophobic and transphobic bullying. Training can aim to reduce the way in which gender stereotypes constrain and limit all students.”


Note to editors

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  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
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The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.