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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

LGBTQ+ Teachers and Changing Curriculums

A research project of the School of Education.

Why this project:

Over the last decade UK governments have gradually begun to address the necessity for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender)[i] inclusion in schools. However, historically schools have had a complex and challenging relationship with LGBTQ+ people. Hence, we are interested in exploring experiences of LGBTQ+ teachers who are the forefront of education.

[i] We use the acronym LGBT as reference to the language of policy, and the broader definition of LGBTQ+ when referring to people.

What we are doing:

We wish to talk with teachers in the UK about their experiences of being LGBTQ+ in education. We are very happy to speak to current teachers, retired teachers or those who have left the profession. You do not have to be an ‘out’ LGBTQ+ teacher to participate. 

Questions we may consider:

  • What does being an LGBTQ+ teacher mean to you?
  • Is it important to be ‘out’ or not?
  • Are schools inclusive of LGBTQ+ people (including staff, students, and parents)?
  • How have government or school polices had an impact on you?
  • Has any of this changed over time?

We want teachers to share their experiences, examples and talk about anything that they feel has had an impact. There are no right or wrong answers, we are interested in personal opinions and experiences, and value all contributions.

Why now:

We are particularly interested in this now, just before changes to national curriculums. Specifically, schools in England are about to implement the new LGBT inclusive Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum, whilst Scotland is due to implement LGBT inclusion across the curriculum.

(We are aware the English government has recently given permission for schools to delay implementing the new RSE curriculum until 2021).

How will we do this:

Data collection is primarily through interviews. We would like to conduct interviews with LGBTQ+ teachers in summer (July or August) 2020. They may take up to 1 hour (the choice is with the participant). We will send participants a link to a video call (alternatively we could use the telephone). We will ask participants permission to record the interviews.

Ideally, we would conduct a follow-up interview one year later.

How do I join this project?

Contact Anna Llewellyn – to discuss the project and/or arrange an interview.


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Further information

For further information, please contact Dr Anna Llewellyn.