Lecturer suspended over homophobic rant

Dr Mark Walcott
Dr Mark Walcott Photo: Newham College website

A senior academic at Newham College has been suspended after he was secretly recorded making homophobic comments.

Dr Mark Walcott is heard saying he believes gay teachers' sexuality can stop them doing their jobs properly, and that he's asked gay teachers to leave schools before.

The recording was made by another staff member who reported them to the college in April 2012.

But as recently as last month, Dr Wallcot was still employed.

The school has issued the following statement:

“The College is aware that a recording has been posted onsocial media websites expressing views that do not reflect the values of NewhamCollege. The College has instigated a full investigation, to be externallychaired. The individual named has been suspended, pending that investigation.Newham College has a proud reputation as a fair employer, not least as the onlyFE college in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index top 100, and does not supportany discrimination against, or unfair treatment of, staff or learners in anycontext. As the provenance of the recording has been referred to the police, wecannot comment further at this stage.”__

– Newham College spokesperson

The lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall lists Newham College among it's Top 100 Employers 2013, but confirmed it does know about the issue:

‘We are unable to comment onan investigation which is ongoing but Stonewall raised this matter with NewhamCollege of Further Education in early 2012’.

– Stonewall spokesperson

James Yates is a former music technology lecturer who secretly recorded Dr Walcott's comments on his phone. He spoke to Simon Harris:

Below is the unedited recording of Dr Walcott, which contains some offensive material.