Lesbian teacher gets award for teaching LGBT equality

Lesbian teacher Elly Barnes has been commended as an ‘inspiration’ for making her school a centre for LGBT tolerance in UK schools

Lesbian teacher gets award for teaching LGBT equality
12 July 2012

A British lesbian teacher has received ‘high commendations’ in a UK teaching awards ceremony for her campaign to end homophobia in schools.

Elly Barnes of Stoke Newington School, London, was highly commended in the: ‘most inspirational teacher category’, in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) award.

Barnes, a music teacher at Stoke Newington, organised the school’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month in 2005, and has encouraged more schools around London to get involved.

She is also the National Schools Representative for SchoolsOUT, an organization campaigning to make schools a safe place for LGBT students and teachers.

‘In the current climate in schools, it is thrilling to know that equalities are being recognised by teaching professionals for their importance in educating our children,’ Barnes said at the ceremony.

In February 2012, UK education watchdog Ofsted, published a report on the impact Barnes’s work has had on her school and the local education system. The report can be viewed in full on the Stoke Newington School’s Ofsted page.

London’s Hackney council has also commended her for outstanding teaching on acceptance of LGBT people.

‘We began our LGBT history month in 2005 as a response to the students’ widespread use of homophobic language in and out of the classroom,’ Barnes said in the Ofsted report.

‘The project grew into a whole-school, community and national event each February.’

Barnes’s commendation follows reports from Ofsted and Stonewall which highlight continuing homophobic abuse in schools. Both organisations say lessons should be organized to teach students on equality and history of LGBT movements.

Ofsted has chosen Stoke Newington School as a center of ‘best practise’ on the teaching of LGBT topics.

The success of Barnes at the TES awards tells schools on the importance of LGBT friendly school policies and the high importance of tackling homophobia.

More information on Barnes’s LGBT history month course can be found at her website.



No thumbnail available

Ireland’s Prime Minister joins Twitter MD and other tech leaders in calling for equal marriage

At an event in Dublin’s Digital Exchange, Ireland’s Taoiseach joined 150 business leaders in calling for the public to vote in favor of same-sex marriage in the republic
No thumbnail available

Lord Browne invests in Gay Star News

Former CEO of a multinational company wants to help improve the environment for LGBTI people in the business world
No thumbnail available

Anonymous religious group threatens to use lesbian couple as target practice if they don’t relocate

A lesbian couple in Kingston, Ontario, Canada received anonymous gay hate letters in their mailbox telling them to ‘MOVE, or else!’
No thumbnail available

The 14 most amazing ways the world fought against Russia’s anti-gay laws

Cher said no, and the world listened. From ballet demonstrations to national commercials, from tweets to open letters, here are the 14 ways the world came together for the Russian LGBTI community
No thumbnail available

Armed police raid 'gay' play premiere in Uganda

Red carpet performance of a new play in Kampala forced to close by police before end of show
No thumbnail available

Equality supporters cast as bullies in Maryland TV ads

Opponents of marriage equality in the state of Maryland have launched a campaign to paint supporters of same-sex marriage as bullies just days out from US elections
No thumbnail available

Zimbabwe riot police arrest 44 gay activists

Forty-four members of Zimbabwe's LGBT organization - GALZ - were violently arrested yesterday by riot police squad and released without being charged this morning
No thumbnail available

World’s first openly lesbian prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir quits politics

Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has stepped down after four years in power as the world’s first openly gay or lesbian leader of a country
No thumbnail available

BBC denies censoring gay Muslim debate

After a question was asked on BBC3's Free Speech debate show about being gay and Muslim, presenter Rick Edwards said the mosque where the show was being filmed had concerns with that discussion
No thumbnail available

momondo launches free City Guide Apps for iPhone – covering Amsterdam, Bangkok, London and more

Travel search site's new guides also encompass Barcelona, Berlin and New York