Current Affairs

Report calls for better legal protection of LGBT teachers

Meka Beresford December 24, 2016
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A new report from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has urged for better protection of LGBT teachers who face unfair dismissal.

The report analysed rules that enable faith schools to dismiss teachers who identify as LGBT, as well as those who have divorced or committed adultery.

Report calls for better legal protection of LGBT teachers

The report said certain sections of the School Standards Framework Act (SSFA) do not meet requirements set out by the EU Employment Equality Directive.

Under this framework, provisions exist which dictate measures that teachers have to meet to work in faith schools.

These provisions “seem to permit a Catholic school to dismiss a gay or lesbian teacher, a divorced teacher or a married teacher conducting a relationship outside of marriage”.

The report called for a change in the law to ensure that “teachers are able to pursue their careers without unjustifiable limitations being placed upon them.”

Activists have urged for the government and the Prime Minister to act on these recommendations set out by the report.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Roman, chair of the Accord Coalition which campaigns for inclusive education, said the report was “a victory for common sense”.

Roman called for PM Theresa May to endorse the EHRC’s report and said it cannot be left to “rot on the shelf.”

He said: “There is no reason why faith schools should enjoy wide ranging exemptions from normal employment protections in order to require teachers to respect and uphold the school’s religious ethos,

“Schools’ focus should be on providing pupils with a high quality education, not editing out good teachers on the grounds of their personal faith or belief system. Religion and discrimination make uncomfortable bedfellows,” he added.

Related topics: EHRC, Equality, human rights, LGBT, schools, teachers

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