Commenting on IDAHOBIT, held each year on 17 May, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“Today is an important day which draws attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT+ people around the world and here at home.
“The NEU absolutely believes that it is the responsibility of all of us to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and the discrimination it causes at work.
“It is important to understand that research released this month, by Just Like Us, found that LGBT+ pupils are far less likely to feel safe at school than their peers. It found that only 58% of LGBT+ young people have felt safe at school on a daily basis in the past 12 months, compared to 73% of non-LGBT+ pupils. (1)
“These statistics mean we need much more proactivity on challenging stereotypes about sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Education must a somewhere that all LGBT+ young people and LGBT+ staff can feel valued and experience a sense of belonging and equal worth.
“LGBT+ equality is an issue that employers cannot ignore. We represent tens of thousands of LGBT+ staff and still, today, many are not able to be out at work because of attitudes they see and hear when at work. We know that TUC research found that nearly two in five (39 per cent) LGBT+ workers have been harassed or discriminated against by a colleague.
“In the autumn term, the NEU will publish an LGBT+ Equality Framework to help primary and secondary schools identify which aspects of LGBT+ equality they might need to develop further; and where to start- or further develop- pedagogy and teaching practice.
“This will be a practical and supportive tool to help schools respond to the experiences of LGBT+ students and staff.”