“Diversity and Inclusion in the Primary Classroom – helping trainee teachers tackle the educational legacy of Section 28” (Area 3)

Branwen Bingle (IoE)

Nationally it has been identified that tackling bullying (in particular that which is homophobic in nature), along with other issues of inclusion and diversity, is an area that trainee and newly qualified teachers feel most unsure about. The University of Worcester Primary Initial Teacher Education team has been including specific and relevant training as part of their ITE course since 2009, working closely with Stonewall to ensure trainees are provided with current accurate research, resources and strategies to help them in the classroom. But why is this issue still seen as so problematic for teachers, particularly in the primary school environment, when it is enshrined in law that discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation is not only unacceptable, it is illegal? This paper aims to explore how the UW Primary ITE course addresses these issues by exploring the historical and social context, explaining the legacy of Section 28 and describing the steps taken to help our trainee teachers tackle prejudice-based bullying.

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