Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Equality is not just ‘a nice thing you do if you have time’. It’s vital to the mental health, happiness and motivation of school staff, as well as pupils.
“School leaders should develop and maintain an environment that welcomes diversity, champions equality, and encourages staff members to be their own authentic selves. That means having zero tolerance of harassment or homophobic and transphobic bullying towards staff or pupils. This is our responsibility and it is the right thing to do.”
NAHT has produced guidance for school leaders on how to support their lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff. Endorsed by Stonewall, it covers key issues such as harassment, discrimination, bullying, and lack of visibility, and underlines the role and responsibilities of school leaders to help schools become places where all staff can thrive and feel confident to be authentic about who they are.
Sally Bates, chair of NAHT’s Equalities group, said: “Some LGB+ and trans staff members may choose not to be open about their orientation at work. While for some this choice is a personal preference, others do not feel able to be open due to fear of discrimination, bullying or harassment.
“As school leaders, NAHT members are in an ideal place to create environments where their staff can feel safe to be open with colleagues and with pupils. It is good practice to ensure that the school’s commitment to an inclusive learning and working environment is celebrated and made clearly visible to staff, pupils, parents and governors from day one.”
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