Gay concerns at Doncaster school revealed

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Some teachers are not happy talking in Doncaster’s schools about gay issues, says a report by the borough’s NUT.

A report by the Doncaster and District branch of the National Union of Teachers says ‘a significant minority’ of staff do not want to address the subject.

Of those surveyed in the report, entitled Prevalence of Homophobia, 12 per cent said they avoided the topic, and 10 per cent said it made them feel nervous.

And 24 per cent said they did not think their school would be a safe environment for pupils to ‘come out’.

The survey was commissioned by the union after the Doncaster Pride committee said its own surveys showed pupils who identified as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual were suffering bullying and isolation.

Tony Fenwick, co-chairman of Schools Out, which advises schools on gay issues, said he found the proportion of teachers who were unhappy about talking about gay issues to be particularly disturbing.

He said: “Knowledge empowers young people and nobody should be anxious about raising awareness of new things in the classroom.”

Jo Moxton, assistant director education in Doncaster Council Children’s Services, said: “The research commissioned by Doncaster and District NUT is a reminder that there is no room for complacency in the progress towards exclusivity and positive rights.

“We will continue to work constructively with schools to help them challenge and eradicate homophobic behaviour and attitudes that violate the safe and diverse environment we are all committed to.”