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Gay and good

The Office for Standards in Education's glowing praise for Jane Brown and her work at Kingsmead primary school in Hackney provides an illuminating backdrop to the latest attempt by Hackney Council's education department to prolong the victimisation of an excellent head.

Surely it is time now for Gus John, Hackney's director of education, to admit to a massive over-reaction and to get on with the job of supporting, instead of attacking, the hard work of good schools and staff.

There has, of course, been one positive thread throughout this story. The warm and continuing support of Kingsmead's staff, governors and parents for Jane Brown will greatly encourage the many lesbians and gay men teaching in our schools. Might we hope that the heterosexual majority will accept at last that it is the quality of our work, rather than our sexual orientation, which determines our fitness to teach.

The tabloids and Conservative MPs who still push the fully discredited myth of a connection between homosexuality and child abuse must finally admit that thousands of excellent teachers are lesbian or gay. The community of Kingsmead school has provided a wonderful example.

Geoff Ellingham

Primary officer

School's Out, London WC1

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