Andrew Moffat, the assistant headteacher who developed No Outsiders programme, has said that protests against LGBT+ education at his Birmingham school have been “very hurtful.”
Moffat spoke about his sadness upon realising that a number of children at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, where he teaches, were encouraged by adults to take part in the protests.
Parkfield Community School has been at the centre of a media storm, after a group of mainly Muslim parents staged demonstrations outside the school.
The protestors are calling on the school to scrap its No Outsiders programme, which has been suspended until a resolution with parents has been reached.
The programme, which an Ofsted report found was not age inappropriate, has also been suspended at four other primary schools in Birmingham, following complaints.
Conservative Christian and Jewish groups have also been involved in the rallies.
It’s been hurtful, says Birmingham teacher Andrew Moffat
“It’s very hurtful,” said Moffat, according to Tes.
“I think the worst part for me was when adults who weren’t actually parents were getting children to chant ‘Get Mr Moffat out.’ Now that was awful.”
Moffat’s No Outsiders programme educates children on all aspects of the Equality Act 2010, including gender and sexuality, through 35 picture books.
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Moffat was speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on Friday (March 22), where he has been shortlisted for the $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for his No Outsiders project.
“I think the worst part for me was when adults who weren’t actually parents were getting children to chant ‘Get Mr Moffat out.'”
“There was another time when someone was shouting ‘shame, shame, shame,'” he continued.
“That was very difficult for me.
“But we have got to remember as well that there are many, many, many parents who weren’t on the protest, who brought their kids into school.
“There are many parents who talk to me all the time and say, ‘This is important and we support you.’”
Birmingham teacher says it is right for school to suspend LGBT inclusive No Outsiders programme
Moffat, who reportedly said that it was the right decision of the school to suspend the programme, added that it was his students’ right to protest.
“Yes, those things were hurtful, but I also fight for the right to protest,” he said.
“Protest is good because it is about dialogue, it’s about democracy.”