2013-09-10 15:52



  A college has been condemned for asking 16 and 17-year-old students whether they were gay or straight on registration forms.

  The teenagers were asked to complete the paperwork and indicate whether they were bisexual, a gay man, a lesbian, a heterosexual, a transsexual or 'prefer not to say'.

  The questions came on the same form they completed with innocent personal details such as their age, address and contact details.

  Some students have been in tears and claim it is an invasion of their privacy.

  They demanded to know why such a personal question is on the front of the form along with their names when the information could be provided anonymously.

  Student Kelsey Bennett, 16, said: 'You did feel under pressure to tick a box and then if you ticked 'prefer not to say” it might make people question why you have done that.'

  Ray Sanchez, 16, was shocked to see the question on the front of the form.

  'It was odd because it was amongst a jumble of basic questions you expect like contact details and ethnicity.'

  Connor Hewitt, 16, said: 'I don’t get why they need to know.'

  Gay campaigners criticised the college's approach and called on staff to review the enrolment procedure.

  Wes Streeting, Head of Education at equality campaigners Stonewall, said:‘Sexual orientation monitoring can be a helpful tool in making sure that all students receive a high quality experience, but it is simply not acceptable that students were asked to disclose their sexual orientation in a way that failed to respect their privacy.

  'There are lots of examples of excellent practice and Barnsley College really should have done their homework before embarking on a well-intentioned but ultimately misguided initiative.'

  Kay Tinkler, co-chairman of the Barnsley Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Forum said it could have been done in a different way.

  'I’m not sure why it’s on the front of an enrolment form,' she said.

  'Coming from a 16-year-old’s point of view when just filling in your name on a form can be daunting it is probably better done anonymously in a way that respects people’s privacy.'

  But a Barnsley College spokesman said it was a method of monitoring the success of protected characteristic groups including age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

  It was part of the 'general equality duty' which came into force in 2011 which required public authorities to consider how they can 'contribute to advancing equality.'

  Barnsley College Principal, Colin Booth, said: 'We apologise to any students who were upset over questions asked on our enrolment form.

  'All colleges are required to collect this and similar information in order to fulfill our duties under the Public Sector Equality Duty 2011.

  'We will review and change how we collect this information taking into account feedback from our students.'

  The college said it used to report on success rates for protected characteristic groups without identifying students.查看译文








  英国同性恋和双性恋平等权利组织“石墙”(Stonewall)的韦斯·斯特里廷说: “要确保所有学生获得高质量体验,性取向监测可能是一种有益的方法,但是以不尊重其隐私的方式要求学生公开他们的性取向,实在令人难以接受。其实,现在有大量成功的实践例子,巴恩斯利学院应该事先做好功课,再着手进行这个出于善意最终却令人误解的计划。”

  巴恩斯利男同性恋、女同性恋、双性恋、变性人论坛(Barnsley Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Forum )的联合主席凯·廷可勒也表示应该换一种方式。她说,“我不确定为什么要把这些问题放在报名表的前面。在16岁的孩子看来,只是在表格上填写自己的名字就已经令人生畏了,也许以尊重隐私的方式让学生们匿名提供这样的信息更好。”

  英国2011年生效的《公共部门公平责任法案》(Public Sector Equality Duty)要求公共机构了解受保护的特殊群体的年龄、残疾状况、变性情况、怀孕和生育、种族、宗教或信仰、性别和性取向,“为推动平等做贡献”。



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