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Christian school placed in special measures after failure to tackle homophobia

Nick Duffy January 21, 2015

A Christian school has been placed in special measures – after the principal complained that Ofsted inspectors asked children “inappropriate” questions about sexuality.

Chris Gray, the head at Grindon Hall Christian School, complained earlier this month that Ofsted was being “hostile” by trying to gauge the level of students’ awareness of LGBT issues.

Ofsted found the school ‘inadequate’ in their report published this week – citing a number of factors, including the leadership’s failure to challenge homophobic bullying, and a lack of appropriate sex education.

It says: “Prejudice-based bullying, while reported on, is not tackled effectively enough. Discrimination through racist or homophobic language persists.

“Leaders have not instigated a review of the curriculum to ensure it takes account of pupils’ lack of awareness about e-safety and aspects of sex and relationships education.

“There is no open forum for pupils to discuss these issues in school and they are inadequately prepared to enable them to assess the risks to which they may be exposed in Britain today.

“While incidents are reported and logged, the use of derogatory language relating to race or sexual orientation persists because the curriculum does not teach pupils about equality, diversity and the need to be tolerant and respectful towards those who are different to themselves.

“Pupils are not taught to develop appropriate levels of respect or tolerance for those from other faiths, cultures or communities.

“The school’s efforts to promote equality of opportunity and tackle discrimination are inadequate.”

The school was rated ‘inadequate’ across three areas, and ‘requires improvement’ across another three – and has since been placed in special measures.

Chris Gray, principal of Grindon Hall, said: “It is now well known that the manner in which inspectors questioned our pupils in November was hostile, inappropriate and raises serious safeguarding issues.

“Ofsted’s approach to us was negative at every stage, as if the data collected had to fit a predetermined outcome.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said of Grindon Hall: “This school has been troubled for some time and Ofsted have been monitoring it carefully.

“This report shows that problems persist and there are continued concerns about leadership, the quality of learning and safeguarding.”

More: Christian, Employment, England, Gay, Grindon Hall Christian School, Homophobia, Ofsted, school, Sex, sex education

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