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Education

School at centre of LGBT education row to reinstate inclusive lessons

Lily Wakefield July 3, 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)

The primary school at the centre of the Birmingham LGBT schools row has said it will relaunch its inclusive lessons after months of conflict between staff and parents.

Parkfield Community School suspended the No Outsiders program, which teaches diversity and inclusion, in March this year after parents protested outside the gates and pulled their children out of school.

Following consultations with parents, the local community and the government, an amended version of the program is to be relaunched at the school in September called No Outsiders for a Faith Community.

According to the Independent, a spokesperson for the school said: “As a result of the consultation ‘No Outsiders for a Faith Community’ has been especially designed for Parkfield Community School acknowledging and respecting the concerns and sensitivity expressed by some parents in the present school community.

“We are sharing the resources with our parents before September through year group sessions and how the programme will be structured for each year group.

“Our school ethos of equality and everyone being welcome remains a key aspect of our school.”

Parkfield parents say amended lessons are “heavily biased towards LGBTQ”

The Parkfield Parents Group which protested the classes remains unhappy with the amended version and has voted against it.

The group told the BBC: “This is because it is well known that the original programme and now even the new programme is heavily biased towards LGBTQ, whereas an equality programme doesn’t need to be.”

The lessons focus not only on LGBT+ issues, but also on race, age, religion and disability.

The program was founded by Parkfield assistant head teacher Andrew Moffat, who faced huge backlash for the LGBT+ elements of the lessons in the predominantly Muslim area.

Moffat was shortlisted for the one million dollar Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize this year for his contribution to teaching through the No Outsiders program, although he didn’t win.

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