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:
Joe McKeown President
John Driscoll Vice President
Seán Kelly District I
Grainne McAleer District II
Sarah Ann McClafferty District III
Majella Ní Chonduibh District IV
Sarah Bradley District V
Ann Comyn District VI
Josephine Byrne District VII
Margaret Murphy District VIII
Anne-Marie Coffey District IX
Susan Carpenter District X
Eleanor Ní Dhuibhir District XI
Fionghuala O’Regan District XII
Tracie Tobin District XIII
Nuala Grealy District XIV
Emer Mangan District XV
Rory Gibbons District XVI
Alison Gilliland 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, 21 May. The Committee is currently exploring racial, ethnic and cultural diversity and inclusion within the education system.

Equality Committee Motion to Congress 2021

The Equality Committee submitted the following motion to the CEC for inclusion on the INTO Annual Congress 2021 agenda. The motion is listed as item 10 (Motion 82) in the name of the CEC on the Second Report of Standing Orders Committee (list of first 22 motions to be taken at Congress).

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:

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;

  1. 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 Principals’ Seminars for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 school years, and the need reviewed thereafter;
  1. provide all INTO members with access to:
  2. information on LGBT+ terminology and identities;
  3. examples of best practice with regard to proactive inclusion of LGBT+ staff, parents and pupils;
  4. resources designed to aid schools in the development of their practice in this area;
  1. provide clear leadership through the union with regards to correct and appropriate use of gender pronouns by:
  2. ensuring all INTO documents use gender inclusive language (he/she/they);
  3. asking for the gender of members only when necessary;
  4. allowing for a wide range of responses when this information is required (male/female/non-binary/transgender male/transgender female etc.);
  5. 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;
  6. 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;
  1. ask the Departments of Education in both jurisdictions to take steps to make teaching an attractive and proactively welcoming career option for LGBT+ people.