Equality Committee

Equality Committee

The role of the INTO Equality Committee is to advise the CEC and the Organisation on equality matters. The committee considers the nine grounds comprehended by equality legislation which are gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community. The Committee meets five times per annum and considers current issues across both jurisdictions, equality issues pertaining to the education system and INTO members as well as national and international equality updates.


Membership 2020 – 2023

Name: Position:
John Driscoll President
Joe McKeown Ex-President
Seán Kelly District 1
Grainne McAleer District 2
Sarah Ann McClafferty District 3
Majella Ní Chonduibh District 4
Sarah Bradley District 5
Ann Comyn District 6
Josephine Byrne District 7
Margaret Murphy District 8
Anne-Marie Coffey District 9
Susan Carpenter District 10
Eleanor Ní Dhuibhir District 11
Fionghuala O’Regan District 12
Tracie Tobin District 13
Nuala Grealy District 14
Emer Mangan District 15
Rory Gibbons District 16
Senior Official Senior Official
Tommy McGlone Senior Official, NI

Meetings and Work Plan

The Equality Committee continues to meet online. The next meeting takes place on Friday 10 September, 2021. The Committee is currently exploring racial, ethnic and cultural diversity and inclusion within the education system.

Equality related motions passed at Congress 2021

The following equality related motions were passed by INTO Congress 2021

Item 4: Reproductive Health


  1. acknowledges the progress which has been made on reproductive health for members;
  2. condemns the fact that the Department of Education considers that miscarriage is not a pregnancy related leave issue, and
  3. directs the CEC to negotiate with the Department of Education to:
    1. have Circular 0054/2019 amended to ensure that no certified pregnancy related absence be counted towards ordinary sick leave or affect pay entitlements; and ensure that any appointments for assisted reproduction appointments should be fully substitutable.

Item 10: Equal employment opportunities

Congress fully commits to protecting equal employment opportunities, participation and treatment, particularly with regard to recruitment and promotion, of all teachers regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Congress commends the proactive steps taken by many schools to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for LGBT+ staff, parents and pupils and wholly condemns any homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes that may be expressed, including implicitly, in schools.

Congress calls on the CEC to:

  1. ensure that all Republic of Ireland members are made aware of the changes to Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act via the Equality Miscellaneous Provisions Act (2015) and what this means in practice for them and that all members in Northern Ireland are made aware of the Fair Employment and Treatment Order (1998, 2003) and Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act and what they mean in practice for them.
  2. ensure that guidance in LGBT+ inclusion (with regard to staff, parents and pupils) is included in INTO CEC and Officer training, National Committee training and INTO Principal Seminars for the 2021/2022 and 2020/2023 school years, and the need reviewed thereafter;
  3. provide all INTO members with access to:
    1. information on LGBT+ terminology and identities;
    2. examples of best practice with regard to proactive inclusion of LGBT+ staff, parents and pupils;
    3. resources designed to aid schools in the development of their practice in this area;

d. provide clear leadership through the union with regards to correct and appropriate use of gender pronouns by:

    1. ensuring all INTO documents use gender inclusive language (he/she/they);
    2. asking for the gender of members only when necessary;
    3. allowing for a wide range of responses when this information is required (male/female/non-binary/transgender male/transgender female etc);
    4. encouraging cisgender members to share their gender pronouns (e.g. as part of introductions or in their email signature) to create a safe space for transgender and non-binary colleagues to do likewise;
    5. informing other educational partners in both jurisdictions (including their respective Departments of Education, Employing Bodies and Authorities, NISTR and Teaching Councils) of the necessity to be gender inclusive in their approach to facilitate participation of transgender and non-binary teachers in their systems and processes;

e. ask the Departments of Education in both jurisdictions to take steps to make teaching an attractive and proactively welcoming career option for LGBT+ people.