Two thirds of teachers have no training on LGBT issues, says survey

Schools should teach LGBT+ education, faith leaders wrote in an open letter.

More than two thirds of teachers in Scotland have no recent grounding in LGBT+ issues, according to a new survey.

The results of the research, released by Scotland’s government to TES following a Freedom of Information request, found that 70 percent of teaching staff had receiving no training on LGBT+ issues in the last five years.

Over 300 teachers filled out the survey, which found that one quarter of respondents said no training on the LGBT+ community was offered by their local authority.

“There is a real lack of awareness that results in teachers not being able to challenge and deal with LGBTI discrimination, pupils often report it goes unchallenged.”

Of those teachers that had receiving training on LGBT+ content, just one fifth of those said this included strategies for combatting transphobia.

Of teachers with LGBT+ training, only one in five covered transphobia

According to TES Scotland, one teacher said in the research: “There is a real lack of awareness that results in teachers not being able to challenge and deal with LGBTI discrimination, pupils often report it goes unchallenged.”

Another school employee said they did not know of any LGBT+ training being offered, “but we deal with LGBT issues often, within teaching, so it is desperately needed.”

It comes after it was reported in November that Scotland will become the first country in the world to teach LGBT+ issues in school lessons.

A school student. A recent survey has found that more than two thirds of students have no grounding in LGBT issues

The survey found that the majority of teachers in Scotland have not been trained in LGBT+ issues for five years. (Pexels)

Scotland to embed LGBT+ content in curriculum

The Scottish government accepted all 33 recommendations included in a report by the LGBTI Inclusive Education working group, which was commissioned with the aim of addressing anti-LGBT bullying in schools and creating a more LGBT-friendly educational curriculum and social environment.

The recommendations included the addition of LGBT+ topics across various subjects, a free training programme aimed at teachers, and establishing a series of LGBT-themed outcomes in statutory guidance to public schools.

The themes taught during these school lessons will include LGBT+ terminology and identities, tackling homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and prejudice in relation to the LGBT+ community, and promoting awareness of the history of LGBTI equalities and movements.

In England and Wales, the government passed the Children and Social Work Act in March 2017, which pledges to make Relationships Education (RE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory in all schools.

While the latest draft guidance specifically mentions LGBT people, Stonewall has said that “there were still areas where it risked failing to meet the needs of LGBT young people.”

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