Four more Birmingham primary schools suspend LGBT+ lessons after complaints from parents

Monday, April 8, 2019

LGBT+ lessons have been suspended at four more primary schools in Birmingham following complaints from parents.

Leigh Trust has said it is stopping the “No Outsiders” programme, where pupils learn about same-sex couples from story books, until it has had “meaningful and open” discussions with all parents.

Parkfield Community School in Birmingham had also halted the lessons following weekly protests by parents who argue children are too young to learn about the topic.

A letter, sent to parents at Leigh Primary School, Alston Primary School, Marlborough Junior and Infants School and Wyndcliffe Primary School, says lessons will not resume until after Ramadan in summer.

Campaign group the Accord Coalition have criticised the academy trust’s decision.


“This latest news is extremely worrying,” said the charity’s chair, the Rev Stephen Terry. “Parents are entitled to their views on sexuality and morality, and to set these beliefs before their children. 

“A school’s task is to set out different views and approaches in society, with an overall duty to tackle prejudice and foster good relations between people of different characteristics.

“Teachers should be actively supported in this regard, not undermined.”

Mr Terry added it was difficult to see the protests “as anything other than homophobic and intolerant”.

The charity Humanists UK has said the move to stop teaching LGBT+ classes, after parents raised religious concerns, was “very alarming”.

Richy Thompson, director of public affairs and policy at the charity, said: “Schools have an important role to educate students about all types of relationships and that includes teaching respect and tolerance for LGBT+ people.

“They also have a duty to protect the wellbeing of all of their students, including LGBT+ students who are at higher risk of bullying without such education.

“We urge the Department for Education to take a strong stand and support these schools in reinstating LGBT+ lessons back into the classrooms.”

Earlier this month, schools watchdog Ofsted concluded the LGBT+ lessons at Parkfield Community School were age-appropriate.

The No Outsiders programme, which teaches about the Equality Act, was introduced four years ago by the school’s assistant head, Andrew Moffat, who is a finalist for a global top teaching award.

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

Mr Moffat, who is gay, told The Independent he believed his openness about his sexuality triggered the opposition. In recent weeks, he has been threatened and targeted amid protests.  

Source: Independent