The character portrayed by Dame Judi Dench in the highly-acclaimed film Notes on a Scandal, which opens in the UK next week, has been singled-out to show the horror of reality faced by teachers who, in 2007, are still too scared to affirm their sexual orientation in schools for fear of abuse.
The film and especially the part played by Judi Dench, Schools OUT points out, “portrays a sad reality for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teachers today and the release of the film provides us with a real opportunity to raise awareness of a very sad underlying truth”.
Research released by the Teachers Support Network in February 2006 and further research by the National Union of Teachers, just released, highlights the dilemma on sexuality in the teaching profession.
“We would like to use this film and that research to open a debate as to how we combat this and raise awareness,” Schools OUT says.
Sue Sanders, the co-chair of Schools OUT, said that Zoë Heller’s novel “Notes on a Scandal” is a complex and difficult story that raises very important issues.
“That it has become such a renowned film will hopefully help is to put these issues on the agenda in a positive and meaningful way.
“We are delighted that Dame Judi has been nominated for an Oscar for playing such a complex role and we obviously wish her all the best.
“However the real “scandal” that both the book and the film highlight is homophobia and the effect it has on lesbian and gay teachers and our society as a whole.
“Let the popularity of this film and Dame Judi’s performance move us into taking action against the prejudice and discrimination that warps the education system and all our lives,” Ms. Sanders said