A new poll has revealed at least 30 per cent of LGBTI teachers choose not to disclose their identity at work.

The poll was conducted by UK teacher’s union NASUWT at its recent LGBTI Teachers’ Consultation Conference, Gay Times has reported.

Three in 10 respondents to the real-time electronic survey said they were in the closet at work, but the real figure is thought to be even higher, because only those at the LGBTI conference were polled.

Close to half of the teachers said they wouldn’t recommend teaching as a job to their friends and family.

Almost a third said they thought the amount of homophobic bullying in their schools had stayed the same over recent years, and 38 per cent said they had faced discrimination or bullying in the last year because of being LGBTI.

General secretary of NASUWT Chris Keates said that LGBTI teachers should be able to choose to be out at work, and that acceptance of teachers reflected the environment for diverse students.

“It is deeply worrying that some LGBTI teachers report experiencing and hearing more homophobic language within schools and that incidents of hate crime and hate speech have increased more generally,” said Keates.

“Being out in the workplace is a matter of personal choice, but too many LGBTI teachers tell us they would like to be out but do not feel their school is a safe environment for them to do so.

“Schools which are not inclusive environments for LGBTI staff are unlikely to be supportive environments for LGBTI pupils either.

“It is important that schools take their responsibilities on promoting equality and respect seriously to create an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and safe.”

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