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‘UK schools should depict homosexuality well’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
National Union of Teachers calls for a "positive portrayal" of same-sex relationships in UK schools. (file photo)

The UK’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) says British schools should teach a positive portrayal of same-sex relationships.

Pupils should be taught a “positive portrayal” of same-sex relationships in school sex education policies as a means of promoting equality, the NUT resolved at its annual conference in Harrogate on Sunday.

Delegates overwhelmingly approved the motion on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights, asking that “a future government must tackle the embedded homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that exist in schools and create a positive climate of understanding about sexuality and gender fit for the 21st century, the Guardian reported.

“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.”

Speakers told the conference that, despite recent gains, many schools still remained hostile places for lesbian and gay teachers and pupils, while same-sex marriage remained an uncomfortable subject in spite of its improved legal status.

The motion calls for extra training for teachers to help them deal with homophobic and transphobic incidents and for LGBT equality and rights to be included as part of initial teacher training courses.

The motion also called for an incoming government to “make it compulsory that all schools’ sex education policies include a positive portrayal of same-sex relationships”.

Sex and relationships education is mandatory for pupils at local authority maintained secondary schools in England, but is not compulsory within primary schools or in academies or free schools.

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