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Birmingham school stops LGBT+ lessons after protests by parents

Sam Ramsden March 4, 2019
Pat Sowa has called for LGBT inclusive education, like the lessons designed by Andrew Moffat.

Andrew Moffat teaches at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham. (Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize/YouTube)

A primary school in Birmingham that taught pupils LGBT+ lessons in order to tackle homophobia has abandoned the programme after protests by parents.

The Birmingham school confirmed that the lessons have been scrapped, and will only resume after a consultation with every parent.

A letter sent to the parents, quoted in The Guardian on Monday (March 4), read: “Up to the end of this term, we will not be delivering any No Outsiders lessons in our long term year curriculum plan, as this half term has already been blocked for religious education (RE). Equality assemblies will continue as normal and our welcoming No Outsiders ethos will be there for all.”

A group of parents of students attending the Parkfield community school in Birmingham have petitioned against the LGBT+ lessons, which they accuse of “confusing children,” and carried out weekly protests.

The protests culminated on Friday (March 1), when parents claimed around 80 percent of the pupils were kept home, although the school refused to confirm the number, the BBC reported.

“We want all children in Birmingham to know that their family is normal; that their family is accepted and welcomed in schools.”

— Teacher and author, Andrew Moffat

“We have no problem with the Equalities Act, we have no problem with them teaching them British values, but this is not teaching them British values, this is promoting homosexuality, this is confusing children,” parent Fatima Shah told the BBC explaining her opposition to the programme.

Andrew Moffat, a teacher at the school who devised the No Outsides programme and said he has faced threats over it, has previously defended the LGBT+ lessons.

“I’m just teaching children from an early age that there are different families out there and, let’s not forget, that in some schools there are children with two mums, so I see it that they’re not being taught anything,” he told The Guardian at the end of January.

“All they’re seeing is their family is being accepted. We want all children in Birmingham to know that their family is normal; that their family is accepted and welcomed in schools.”

School teacher Andrew Moffat teaching his No Outsiders programme
School teacher Andrew Moffat teaching his No Outsiders programme (Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize/YouTube)

Moffat, who is openly gay, was awarded an MBE by the Queen back in 2017 for services to education, and is the author of Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools.

Moffat is also currently in the running to win the prestigious Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, and is the only UK finalist shortlisted.

He is being recognised for his work on the No Outsiders programme, which launched in 2014 and teaches children about inclusivity and diversity.

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