Professor Catherine Lee MBE is to deliver a talk on equality in education to trainee teachers at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU).

The lecture will take place on Monday 6th February as part of BGU’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Week. Titled ‘Learning lessons from Section 28: Why no one should have to pretend at school’, the talk aims to equip some of Lincolnshire’s trainee teachers with skills and knowledge to support diverse classrooms.

Professor Lee - who teaches at Anglia Ruskin University - was awarded an MBE for services to equality in education in King Charles’ first New Year Honours List. Her new book ‘Pretended: Schools and Section 28’ was released in February 2023 and recounts her experience as an educator under the legislation. She also recently acted as a consultant on BAFTA-nominated movie Blue Jean, with the plot focused on a teacher’s inability to be her authentic self at work.

Her talk to the university will provide valuable insights into issues of equality in education in the UK. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the history of LGBT+ rights, as well as engage in a thought-provoking discussion about contemporary struggles for equality in classrooms.

Professor Lee said: I’m really excited to talk to trainee teachers at BGU, especially during LGBT History Month. Section 28 prevented me being an authentic role model to young people when I was a teacher and so I’m delighted to be able to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ inclusion in my work with the next generation of teachers.

“Young people in our schools deserve to be supported by teachers who put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of their work, and so it’s fantastic that BGU a have put together such a comprehensive and exciting programme for their trainee teachers.”

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion week at Bishop Grosseteste University is an annual event aimed at raising awareness and promoting understanding of the importance of equal rights and opportunities in education.

Trainee teachers will attend various lectures, seminars, and reflective workshops to enhance their knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusive teaching practices, to meet the needs of all pupils.

Bishop Grosseteste University Senior Lecturer and EDI Week Lead Dr Lyndsay Muir said: “It's a privilege to have Catherine inspire our trainees to develop their understanding of inclusive and adaptive teaching to meet the needs of all their current and future pupils.

“We know from our research that this week enables a significant improvement in our trainees' confidence in tailoring teaching to remove barriers so that all pupils can reach their full potential.”

6th February 2023

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