LGBT school protests back over No Outsiders resumption

Threat to withdraw children from school tomorrow in protest at decision to restart equalities programme

Martin George

Protests have resumed outside Parkfield Community School after it announced it would resume a modified version of its No Outsiders programme in September.

Protesters have returned to the school at the centre of the row over LGBT content in lessons, a week after it announced it would resume a modified version of its programme.

The No Outsiders scheme was developed by Andrew Moffat, assistant head at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, to teach children about equalities, and is used by schools across the country.

However, the school suspended it before Easter following vocal demonstrations outside the school gates about elements covering LGBT issues.

Quick read: Hinds slammed for not spelling out LGBT primary guidance

Minister: Gibb condemns school protests

Heads: NAHT calls for clarity on LGBT teaching

It launched a process of consultation with parents and community representatives, during which the protests stopped, and another Birmingham school, Anderton Park Primary, became the focus of demonstrations.

Last week, Parkfield announced it would restart an adapted version of the programme, No Outsiders for a Faith Community, in September.

It said that this acknowledged and respected “the concerns and sensitivity expressed by some parents in the present school community”, but included lessons referencing gender reassignment and sexual orientation among other equalities.

Now, the Birmingham Mail has reported that a “small group of protesting parents” gathered outside the school’s gates this morning to show their opposition to the resumption of No Outsiders.

The newspaper said that about 25 people gathered outside the school at 8.30am, with three neighbourhood police officers nearby.

One parent, Ali Yassir, told the paper that consultation had not resulted in any changes.

He said: "They say they have changed the programme but they have just swapped one book for another.

"They have shown me the book, Mommy, Mama and Me. It has two mummies. It is confusing. We believe in one man, one wife, not two mummies. We do not believe in that and they are promoting their beliefs.”

Spokesperson Jay Hussain said pupils would be withdrawn from the school tomorrow in protest.

However, the Birmingham Mail said today’s protest had been criticised by the Parkfield Parents Group, which said consultation and mediation was the only way to resolve the dispute.

Mr Moffat has previously spoken to Tes about the effect of the protests, which saw some of his pupils joining the demonstrations.

In March, he said: “It’s very hurtful. 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.”

Anderton Park has won a High Court injunction against demonstrations outside its gates, and is awaiting a full trial about the issue later this month.

Its deputy head Claire Evans has described the protests as “utterly horrific”, saying she “would not wish it upon anybody else to have to go through”.

Parkfield Community School has been approached for comment.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

Latest stories