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Teachers need more training, says gay charity

Schools Out campaign call for better equality training for teachers

Teachers need more training, says gay charity

As education watchdog Ofsted announce plans to toughen up the language of inspections used in English schools, Schools Out co-chair Sue Sanders has called for more equality training of teachers and school inspectors.

The change to the grading system comes after the official body for inspecting schools decided to address the number of schools who have been coasting by on 'satisfactory' for several years.

The 'satisfactory' grade will be changed to 'requires improvement', with schools being obliged to make positive changes within three years before special measures are taken.

Ofsted inspect schools based on quality of teaching, lessons, behaviour as well as the safety of pupils and the promotion of moral, social, cultural and spiritual development.

However, Ofsted needs to do more to investigate the promotion of equality and diversity according to Sanders: 'We're not training our teachers in equality. You can go into teaching without any equality or diversity training.

'If we havent got teachers who are trained or informed then what do we do? And what if the inspectors aren't educated in this either?'

'We need teachers to be educated in equality and diversity issues so that they can properly teach their students.'

These issue will be addressed in this year's Schools Out conference at the Drill Hall theatre, London.

Held on 4 February, the conference will focus on using education to counter bullying and prejudice. The event will include workshops, screenings of films by the Rainbow Project and talks from Trans experts and Richard Rieser, co-ordinator of UK Disability History Month.

Sanders continues: 'We want to enable people to learn how to avoid all forms of bullying and put in place of a process to stop it happening in the first place.'

A speaker from Ofsted will also be there to discuss how the curriculum can be used to celebrate diversity.

The Schools Out organisation provides support for people in education whether it be teachers, pupils or parents who want to raise the issue of homophobia, transphobia or heterosexism.

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