Monday, 18 September 2017 22:05

Survey: Most schools in Northern Ireland do nothing to address LGBTQ issues

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schools

 

In Northern Ireland, one survey shows that one in five schools does not address LGBTQ issues.

The Department of Education in Northern Ireland carried out this survey involving 424 schools: 310 primary schools, 91 post-primary schools, and 23 special schools.

The question was whether these institutions covered LGBT issues in relationship and sex education or other parts of the curriculum.

The result is disappointing since 59% of responding schools reported that they did not cover issues of LGBTQ students. Moreover, 19.4% of schools did not even want to answer the question! So only a little over 21% said they were addressing these issues.

Seven out of 10 schools reported that they were not aware of ever having any LGBTQ pupils.

The department said "as the actual number of schools that respond to the survey is relatively large, it is likely to be representative of all schools."

The Council for Curriculum, Examinations, and Assessment had issued guidelines on the importance of teaching students about sexual orientation and gender identity in primary schools.

"Schools should handle the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity in a sensitive, non-confrontational and reassuring way," it recommended.

"In the primary setting, schools can do this very effectively by teaching about the difference in Relationships and Sexuality Education."

"Relationships and sexuality education can help provide a positive view of sexual orientation and gender identity which, in turn, can help raise the self-esteem of young people who may feel different."

Most schools responding to this survey also indicated that they never or rarely heard any derogatory references to same-sex relationships by pupils.

But this survey revealed that 37% of the schools would welcome more training on addressing transphobia in the classroom.

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