A survey on homophobia in Birmingham schools reveals shocking levels of homophobia and a demand by teachers for whole school training to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Prevalence of Homophobia Survey, carried out by Birmingham National Union of Teachers and published on the Schools OUT website, reveals that 93% of Birmingham’s teachers have witnessed a homophobic incident, 26% have been on the receiving end of a homophobic incident and 72% of in-service teachers want whole school equality and diversity training. Among Newly- Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in their first year, the figure is even higher; 81% want to see whole school training.
The latest survey in Birmingham is part of an ongoing programme of surveys held throughout the UK to establish how much homophobia people in education have to endure. The survey started in Oldham in 2008 and has rolled out throughout the UK. The Birmingham results are not significantly different from any other town or city and previous surveys have taken place in Liverpool, Luton, Blackburn and Darwen, Blackpool and a host of other towns. Surveys are currently being prepared in Norwich and Buckinghamshire.
The surveys show that homophobia is endemic throughout the nation. There are no ‘usual suspects’ or ‘special case’. Homophobic behaviours are a here and present danger in all the regions covered and, more significantly, the demand for whole school training to tackle it is massive everywhere the surveys have been carried out.
Birmingham is at the forefront after employing Elly Barnes to provide equality and diversity training to all the schools within its remit.