National Union of Teachers deplore discrimination in faith schools

May 3, 2011

The National Union of Teachers has passed a motion at their annual conference last week lambasting the discrimination that is faced in many faith schools.

The motion noted ‘… the continued discrimination faced by our members in faith schools, on the grounds of sexuality, not to mention marital status, transgender status and even race or nationality’ and observed how the Catholic Church had openly criticised the imposition of the General Teaching Council Code of Conduct, which requires teachers to ‘proactively challenge discrimination’ and ‘promote equality and value diversity in all their professional relationships and interactions’.

Following the debate, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said; “It is important that all our schools promote equality, value diversity and implement effective strategies to eradicate homophobia and transphobia. This approach must encompass the whole school community. Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality, marital status or religion should have no place in any of our schools.”

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said ‘Religion and discrimination in schools have become almost synonymous and such discriminatory practices must be stopped and prejudice challenged. The NUT motion only further demonstrates the growing and widespread concern at the discrimination that takes place in many of our faith schools.’



Motion 54 ‘Homophobic Prejudice and Discrimination in Religious Schools’ passed at the NUT’s conference can be found on page 85 of the conference Final Agenda.

Stonewall’s 2007 ‘The School Report‘ showed that two thirds of young gay people at secondary schools have experienced homophobic bullying, but in faith schools that figure rises to three in four. The report also showed that lesbian and gay pupils who attended faith schools were 23% less likely to report bullying than those at non-faith schools.’

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