The challenge of homophobia

2nd August 2013 at 01:00

Your report about the fear of challenging homophobia ("Gay teachers less likely to challenge homophobia", 26 July) emphasises that it is even more important that straight teachers openly challenge homophobic language. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen enough, in my experience.

The onus is on principals and governors to ensure that their schools are free from prejudice-based bullying in any form, but this will not happen unless they take a lead and ensure that all staff have better information and training - and, therefore, confidence - to challenge inappropriate language. Furthermore, it is vital for a strong and clear personal, social and health education programme to be central to the ethos of the school to ensure that no staff member, governor, parent or child is in doubt about the school's commitment to equality, diversity and respect for all. From the earliest age, young people should be given the clear message that diversity in society is a reality and diversity in relationships is to be valued and respected. Our young people are the citizens of the future and deserve no less.

Carol Machell, Former principal, West Yorkshire.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today