Gay and Lesbian Teachers
Before I conclude, I want to make a brief comment on a campaign the ASTI have been involved in for some time.
The campaign to amend Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act to remove discrimination against gay and lesbian teachers.
Our programme for Government contains a commitment that we will remove discriminations against gay people, which prevent them from taking up employment as teachers.
And that is a commitment I intend to fulfil.
Recent weeks have seen some discussions around a draft bill which has been published by Senator Averil Power.
I have had conversations with Senator Power, and with Senators Ivana Bacik and Katherine Zappone, and we are determined to achieve progress on this matter in the near future.
In order to move quickly to stamp out such discrimination, I am also in contact with Minister Alan Shatter and the Attorney General, and we will publish proposals in the coming weeks.
This work to remove discrimination will also be underpinned by the Forum on bullying which will take place on May 17th
, and which will be supported by a working group on bullying which will initially focus on tackling homophobic bullying.