Education news

Headteachers dealing with LGBT protests 'should have more support'

Parkfield Community School in Birmingham

HEADTEACHERS dealing with protests over LGBT lessons should have been given more support, the UK government's chief adviser on countering extremism has said.

Campaigners held banners saying "Don't confuse our children" and "Let kids be kids" outside the Parkfield Community School in Birmingham after books featuring same-sex couples were used in a diversity programme.

The school suspended its No Outsiders programme in February until an agreement could be reached with parents.

Sara Khan, who became a government adviser in January 2018, likened the protests to a "mob".

Speaking about the Department for Education's response to the issue, she told BBC's Panorama: "I think they were too slow to respond. There's a lot of confusion about what's actually being taught and I think DfE could have played a very important role in clarifying to parents this is what's actually being taught, not the misinformation that we're seeing out there.

"It's a mob chanting and shouting and engaging in intimidating and threatening behaviour.

The No Outsiders programme teaches according to the Equality Act, and the school's assistant headteacher, Andrew Moffat, said you cannot pick and choose which parts of it to apply.

Pupils are taught about the positive values of diversity, tolerance and acceptance, in a broad curriculum encompassing LGBT rights, same-sex relationships, gender identity, race, religion and colour.

Mr Moffat revealed that the daily demonstrations outside the school gates left some children in tears.

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