An obituary by Schools OUT UK (LGBT+ History Month)

Tony was a giant of our LGBTQ+ movement. Tony dedicated his life to education and the pursuit of justice for all. He was a lifelong trade unionist and for over 20 years focussed on fair play for LGBTQ+ students and staff in schools, as a volunteer in Schools OUT UK (reg. charity). He served as its CEO for over a decade, working with Sue Sanders, founder and co-chair, on LGBTQ+ History Month (held in February since 2005).

Tony was awarded an MBE for his ‘services to equality in education’ in 2016. He regarded the MBE as an honour for all in the LGBTQ+ movement, saying he hoped to ‘use the gong to lobby parliament to encourage the nations of the Commonwealth to get rid of the Empire’s outdated legislation and legalise same-sex relations throughout their lands’.


An experienced English teacher, Tony taught in many secondary schools and over the last decade provided individual tuition to children who were unable to attend school for medical reasons, a role he cherished. Tony represented Luton as the equality officer at the NUT (now NEU) full conference

for over 12 years, was a founding member of the of the NUT LGBTQ+ structures and a permanent feature at the Trade Union Council Annual LGBT+ Conference.

Kevin Courtney, joint national secretary of the NEU said, “Such a lovely man and yes, he has taught a lot of us so much.” We at Schools OUT UK are grateful for the privilege of working with such a talented, patient, humorous guy and will miss him sorely.

As Amy Macmillan, committee member, said: “If you are an LGBT+ person in the UK, particularly if you are under the age of 30, you WILL have benefitted from Tony’s work over the years, even if you didn’t know it.”

He is survived by his sister Cheryl, her husband Tom Fenwick-Brown, their daughters, Ashley and Sarah, Ashley’s husband, Sandeep and their son Ayush with whom he loved spending Christmas in his native Newcastle.

Please support the GoFundMe page that has been set up by the National Education Union in Tony’s memory.

Comments are closed.

OUTing the Past 2021 Events Timetable

Click here for the 2021 events Timetable

“In ’76, I bought a car…”

Al Cane is a photographer, journalist, and former Labour town councillor for Faringdon, Oxfordshire. Also a DJ, he had myriad private parties […]

Queer Heritage South Launches Digital Museum

Credit: Sally Munt As museums across the country await reopening, Queer Heritage South are thrilled to launch an extensive new […]


LGBTQ+ Charity Launches Tickets for August Bank Holiday Festival With Prices Starting From As Little As £7.50 For Those On […]

Britney Spears and Basic Rights

Julia Zahra Just days before the release of her brand-new album Remedy, we talk to LGBT+ artist Julia Zahra, the youngest […]

Community Union

Community is the modern union for the changing world of work. We represent working people across every sector of the […]

Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO)

Our campaign for New Recruits to serve as Police Constable (PC) Authorised Firearms Officers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) […]

Victim Support

At Victim Support, we’ve been providing more services to victims of crime through digital platforms and are keen to understand […]

A Community Challenged

LGBT+ History Month 2021 In 2020 and 2021, we’ve had the utmost sympathy for the young LGBTQIA+ people, locked down […]

LGBT+ History Month 2021

Sue Sanders: Chair – Schools OUT UK, Professor Emeritus – The Harvey Milk Institute, Cofounder of LGBT+ History Month UK […]

Fyne Meets Juno Dawson

By Jack Latham Juno Dawson’s books include the global bestsellers, This Book Is Gay and Clean. She is presently adapting […]