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.
 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

Why straight women and bisexual men may not really exist

Why straight women and bisexual men may not really exist

GSN speaks to Dr Qazi Rahman, the controversial scientist who says he has proof that all women are bisexual but men are either gay or straight.
No thumbnail available

School defends ‘outing’ of gay student

Utah’s Willowcreek Middle School said 14-year-old gay pupil asked them to tell his parents
No thumbnail available

Lesbian forced from partner, two kids by Texas judge's 'morality clause'

A lesbian woman has 30 days to evacuate her home after a judge ruled only relatives by ‘blood or marriage’ can be around her partner’s kids past 9 pm
No thumbnail available

India blocks gay access to surrogacy

New regulations say only foreign men and women who have been married for two years can use Indian surrogate mothers to have children
No thumbnail available

JD Sports employees suspended after one 'called a gay couple battymen'

A UK sportswear shop staff member allegedly used the anti-gay slur to describe the couple
No thumbnail available

iPhone app helps trans find gender neutral toilets

TranSquat allows users in US, Canada and the UK avoid embarrassment by locating the nearest safe restroom
No thumbnail available

Hillary Clinton gets praise on campaign trail for her support of gay marriage nationwide

Gay man tells Democratic party front-runner: 'That's our gal'
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Matthew Mitcham vows to dive naked if he wins Olympic gold again

Openly gay athlete excites fans with Twitter promise
No thumbnail available

Man and woman arrested for assaulting two men singing Wicked songs in Manchester

Gang of 15 beat one man unconscious in the anti-gay attack