Over half of teachers have experienced or witnessed hate crime in the last two years, with nearly two thirds saying the issue was not addressed satisfactorily, a Conference organised by The Teachers’ Union- NASUWT Scotland, has heard.
Teachers at the packed Conference, held today (Saturday) in Glasgow, said that more needs to be done to address discrimination and prejudice within schools.
A real-time electronic poll of teachers attending the Conference found that:
- over half (52%) said they had experienced or witnessed hate crime in the last two years. Almost two thirds (65%) of those said the issue was not resolved satisfactorily;
- over half (51%) said they had not been offered any equality awareness training in the last two years. Only 21% said they had undertaken any such training;
- 89% said they had not received any training on LGBTI issues in the last year, despite the development of a strategy designed by the Scottish Government to offer support and training for all schools and colleges;
- nearly half (47%) said they have had no training on the Prevent Strategy which is designed to prevent young people becoming involved in terrorism. Over a third said they were not aware of the Prevent strategy;
- only 22% said their school has a strategy in place to ‘poverty proof’ the school day to ensure that children do not miss out on educational entitlements due to cost.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the Conference, said:
“Today’s feedback from teachers confirms what the NASUWT has found through casework and research, that there is a woeful failure by government and employers to take equality issues seriously.
“Particularly concerning is the appalling level of hate crime being experienced and the failure to deal with these incidents effectively.
“The NASUWT has already called upon the Scottish Government to introduce a duty on schools to record and monitor incidents of hate crime to identify the scale of the issue and to put in place robust measures to address it.
“Schools have a vital role to play in promoting social cohesion and the development of safe, inclusive and tolerant communities.
“Teachers and school leaders are not being given the training and support they need and too many employers are at best only paying lip service to equalities, doing little in practice to address discrimination and prejudice.
“Our education service should be inclusive, promoting and demonstrating tolerance, respect and understanding in an environment where everyone can work and learn free from abuse and fear. This is crucial to achieving educational excellence for all.”
Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:
“It is clear that schools and employers need to take their responsibilities for tackling inequality much more seriously.
“Frameworks, policies and plans from Government are all very well, but meaningless unless their implementation is supported, resourced and monitored.”