Towards the end of 2020, we began to hear from NAHT members who identify as LGBT+ that they were interested in forming a network along the lines of our fast-growing ‘Leaders for Race Equality’ network, created in the summer. As a result of this, in January, a handful of our LGBT+ members met for the first time, which proved to be quite a moving experience:
“How wonderful to sit around a virtual table with this group. It still feels exciting to be able to meet and talk with other teachers and leaders who happen to be LGBT+, after so many years of feeling we were so few. But today we are not few, we are many.”
Word spread rapidly across all regions, leading to a second meeting, in March, of nearly fifty of our LGBT+ members, with many more already signed up to this informal network, building contacts through a WhatsApp group; NAHT plans to facilitate meetings every half term.
"It was great to meet so many other LGBT+ school leaders. To know you're not alone, know others are facing the same challenges, but also share the same passion and enthusiasm for children, education and making a difference."
The network offers a safe space for members to come together to discuss the experiences and issues facing LGBT+ school leaders, both within the profession and NAHT itself. The knowledge and experience from the network aim to inform and deepen NAHT's expertise. It will also ensure we strengthen our representation for LGBT+ members. Other opportunities can also be shared with the network, including feeding into discussions with different areas in the union, such as policy and the Diversity and Inclusion Group (DiG).
The NAHT LGBT+ Network is open to all members, across the three nations, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and overseas, who identify as LGBT+. It is open to members from all sectors, including Life membership; if you would like to join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First published 21 May 2021