STUC Equality Award

Equality Award 2016

Scott Mowat (centre) with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Wendy Burton, Director of Scottish Union Learning

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has announced that the recipient of the STUC Equality Award for 2016 is Scott Mowat, an EIS Equality Rep based at Mosspark Primary School in Glasgow.

The award, administered by Scottish Union Learning, will be presented today (11.00am on Tuesday, 19 April, Caird Hall, Dundee) by the Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party.

Scott has had an active role within the EIS since 2010, being elected as a delegate to the national AGM in 2013, 2014 and again in 2015. He was elected to the EIS National Equality Committee and has subsequently represented the EIS at national partner events, both as a delegate and as a panel guest, speaking on how schools might support LGBT teachers.

Scott took a lead role in the first national meeting of the EIS Equality Rep Network in the early part of this year, presenting to the whole Network on the Stonewall Teachers’ Report and its importance to schools. From his interest in Equality/ LGBT issues, Scott became involved in the EIS LGBT Network around five years ago and has made a significant contribution in growing its membership steadily over the years from two to 50.

Scott was initially motivated to focus on LGBT issues because he felt teachers did not uniformly feel empowered or confident in supporting LGBT equality within schools. His dissertation at university focused on homophobia in primary schools; this gave him extensive knowledge of the issues, and how they affect teachers. Since then he has become more aware of the issues from the perspective of LGBT teachers, many of whom experience a fear of coming out, in addition to reticence about being proactive in challenging homophobia and homophobic bullying, and about promoting other equality issues in schools.

Scott Mowat, recipient of the 2016 STUC Equality Award, said:

“I’m delighted to be presented with the STUC Equality Award. As teachers we talk about getting it right for every child’, it is now time that we actually do that - not just continue to get it right for some. As a Trade Union we are continuing to focus on this, as well as getting it right for every teacher - supporting teachers to be themselves within their workplace without fear. The way forward in LGBT education is robust and accessible LGBT+ specific training for all teachers.”

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, said:

“Scott’s achievements in promoting equality and tackling homophobia in his workplace, and in the wider trade union movement, are exceptional. His commitment to equalities work, and the partnerships he has created between union, employers and other groups, have gone a long way to educating many other workers on this very important issue.”