Poll shows extent of hate crime in Scottish schools

Date: 28th June 2017
Category: Non-discrimination

A recent poll undertaken with teachers from across Scotland shows that over half have witnessed or experienced hate crime in the last two years.

The poll, which was taken at the recent NASUWT Teachers Union Conference in Glasgow, also asked teachers if they had completed, or had been offered, training in equality awareness. The poll found that

  • over half (51%) said they had not been offered any equality awareness training in the last two years. Only 21% said they had undertaken any such training;
  • 89% said they had not received any training on LGBTI issues in the last year, despite the development of a strategy designed by the Scottish Government to offer support and training for all schools and colleges;
  • nearly half (47%) said they have had no training on the Prevent Strategy which is designed to prevent young people becoming involved in terrorism. Over a third said they were not aware of the Prevent strategy;
  • only 22% said their school has a strategy in place to 'poverty proof' the school day to ensure that children do not miss out on educational entitlements due to cost.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of NASUWT, commented on the results of the poll at the conference by saying that "Today's feedback from teachers confirms what the NASUWT has found through casework and research, that there is a woeful failure by government and employers to take equality issues seriously.

"Particularly concerning is the appalling level of hate crime being experienced and the failure to deal with these incidents effectively.

"The NASUWT has already called upon the Scottish Government to introduce a duty on schools to record and monitor incidents of hate crime to identify the scale of the issue and to put in place robust measures to address it.

"Schools have a vital role to play in promoting social cohesion and the development of safe, inclusive and tolerant communities.

"Teachers and school leaders are not being given the training and support they need and too many employers are at best only paying lip service to equalities, doing little in practice to address discrimination and prejudice.

"Our education service should be inclusive, promoting and demonstrating tolerance, respect and understanding in an environment where everyone can work and learn free from abuse and fear. This is crucial to achieving educational excellence for all."