Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

"Often workplace cultures can vary across schools and within multi-academy trusts. LGBT+ staff report different levels of confidence about being able to be open or out in their workplace. 

"Straight staff don't have to think twice about talking about their partners or what they did at the weekend. It should not still need to be said, but unfortunately LGBT+ staff in some education workplaces do still have to sense check what feels safe and possible because of how colleagues or students behave around them. 

"Students pick up cues and signals and attitudes about LGBT+ people from many parts of their life, but schools absolutely must educate and empower young people around LGBT+ inclusion. LGBT+ students need support and positive school environments and having role models within the staff body is one important part. 

"The NEU will be looking at bringing together more specific advice, drawing on case studies and good practice to enable LGBT+ staff to understand their rights around any issues that may arise about coming out in the workplace. This would include the specific issues for trans and non-binary members of staff."

ENDS

Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk  

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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. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

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.