At a glance headlines: February 27, 2014


Homophobia in schools, behaviour management and a free guide to VAT for academies and free schools are among the SecEd At a glance headlines for February 27, 2014.

Homophobia poll

The problem of homophobia in schools remains endemic according to a snapshot survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teachers. A real-time poll was conducted at the recent LGBT Teachers’ Consultation Conference held earlier this month by the NASUWT.

The poll of around 100 delegates found that 63 per cent had experienced homophobia during their teaching careers, 64 per cent do not feel that it is safe for LGBT teachers to be out in schools, and that half say their schools do not have clear and easy to access systems for staff and pupils to report incidents of homophobia.

The poll also found that 77 per cent believe their school does not provide training to enable all staff to identify and deal with homophobia.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “It’s a national shame that in the 21st century teachers are still reporting that homophobia is still an issue for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pupils and staff and that many LGBT teachers do not feel safe in their schools. Sadly, while some important strides have been made towards a more tolerant and inclusive society, more needs to be done to ensure that policy commitments percolate into practice on the ground.”

Behaviour barriers

One in four teachers have said that problems with student behaviour are stopping them from teaching effectively. A poll by the Teacher Support Network comes as the charity publishes a free resource offering practical guidance on managing pupil behaviour.

It found that 46 per cent of secondary school teachers and 53 per cent of primary school teachers say they have seen a worsening of behaviour. Among the secondary teachers, 41 per cent also said they had considered leaving the profession as a result of poor behaviour, while 36 per cent admitted that they were at risk of losing control.

The YouGov poll questioned 481 primary and 321 secondary school teachers. Julian Stanley, chief executive of the Teacher Support Network, tackles the issue of behaviour in his regular column for SecEd this week (See page 14, Is pupil behaviour getting worse?).

Download the resource at

VAT guide

A free guide to VAT has been launched to help academies and free schools. Specialist auditors Sayer Vincent has published the document to help schools better understand their financial obligations and practice good financial management.

The guide provides a general introduction to current VAT law and practice and the special rules that apply to these schools. Since 2010 more than 3,444 schools – including more than half of secondary schools – have taken on academy or free school status.

These establishments have to provide their own audits and manage their own budgets, rather than rely on local authorities and can face investigation by policing body, the Education Funding Agency if suspected of financial mismanagement. The guide is available online. Visit:


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