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Teachers: Schools should adopt positive view of homosexuality

Teachers want schools to include a positive view of same-sex relationships as part of their sex education policies. Credit: David Davies / PA Wire/PA Images

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) annual conference in Harrogate have passed a resolution calling for all schools to include a positive view of same-sex relationships as part of their sex education policies.

The conference was told that gains have been made in society on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) rights, but that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still prevalent in schools.

An NUT survey of LGBT teachers also found only 10% felt confident in disclosing their sexuality or gender to students and only 18% felt that all staff in their school consistently challenged discrimination against the gay community.

The resolution said: "Conference demands that a future government must tackle the embedded homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that exists in schools and create a positive climate of understanding about sexuality and gender fit for the 21st century.

"This must include a commitment to make it easier to discuss ideas about sexuality and gender so that students and teachers are more confident to identify as LGBT and work in schools without fear of prejudice."

The motion set out a series of measures for the union to take, including calling on the government to "make it compulsory that all schools' sex education policies include a positive portrayal of same-sex relationships."

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NUT: Ofsted evidence 'wrong'

The National Union of Teachers have labelled the evidence behind Ofsted's claims that schools are failing the most academically able as "wrong".

Christine Blower, the General Secretary of the largest teachers' union, said the evidence supporting the claims was "wrong" because Key Stage two test results were never designed as a predictor for future GCSE grades.

Clever students are being let down by a culture of low expectations, according to Ofsted. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

The General secretary said young people's aspirations had been deeply harmed by the reduction in the Education Maintenance Allowance, the increase in tuition fees and cuts to schools' career services.

"While schools are never complacent it has to be remembered that Ofsted’s own Annual Report found that 70% of all schools are now good or better. Ofsted has a role to support schools and ensure they are sharing best practice in schools. This report does neither.

"For schools to help and encourage all pupils to reach their full potential we need a curriculum which engages students and is relevant to all the career paths available to young people in the modern workplace".

'Gentle military-style approach' for troubled pupils

Mike Hamilton, Commando Joes' founder, delivering a fitness session at a school in Manchester. Credit: PA

Commando Joes’, which will receive around £600,000 from the £1.9 million initiative, said that it combined teamwork and fitness "with a gentle military-style approach".

However, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), told The Independent that self-discipline and teamwork were objectives “that schools instil in pupils day in day out, the majority having never been anywhere near the military”.

Teachers stage fresh strikes

Teachers demonstrate outside the Department of Education today. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Thousands of teachers and lecturers staged a fresh strike today in the continuing row over the Government's public sector pension reforms.

Around 6500 teachers marched through central London chanting: "We won't work till 68" in reference to the increased retirement age they face.

Students join their teachers demonstrating outside the Department of Education. Credit: ohn Stillwell/PA Wire

The action by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the University and College Union (UCU) in London affected more than 60 higher and further education institutions as well as a number of schools, and many college students joined in.

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