Ofsted praises school at centre of LGBT lessons row

Inspectors say majority of parents support Parkfield Community School

John Roberts

Ofsted has backed Parkfield school over its teaching of LGBT issues

Ofsted has praised a primary school at the centre of a parents' protest about lessons on same-sex relationships.

Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham, has faced weekly protests about its 'No Outsiders' programme, which some Christians and Muslims have claimed is against their religion.

Protesting parents have claimed that the lessons focus disproportionately on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues and that this work is not taught in an age-appropriate manner.

However, this has been rejected by Ofsted inspectors who have praised the school in a report published today following a monitoring inspection. 

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The report says: “The majority of parents understand how the school helps their children to play a positive role in modern British society by developing their appreciation of British values.

“However, a very small, but vocal, minority of parents are not clear about the school’s vision, policies and practice. This group of parents feel that staff do not sufficiently listen to their concerns.

"Their view is that the PSHE education and equalities curriculum focuses disproportionately on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues and that this work is not taught in an age-appropriate manner. Inspectors found no evidence that this is the case.”

A monitoring inspection of the school was carried out because Ofsted’s chief inspector was concerned about aspects of the effectiveness of leadership and management.

The resulting report praises Parkfield Community School.

It says: “Having considered the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time, safeguarding is effective. In addition, leaders and those responsible for governance have maintained the high standards of education seen at the previous inspection in May 2016”.  

The school was judged to be "outstanding" at its last inspection almost three years ago.

The report adds: “The majority of pupils who spoke with the inspectors said that the school’s lessons and out-of-class activities help to ‘bring pupils together’ so that ‘no one is left out’. One pupil summed up the views of many when they said: ‘We look out for, and after, people who are different so that we can help one another ’."

It says that almost all of the parents who completed Ofsted’s questionnaire, Parent View, and who spoke with inspectors share the school’s vision and are happy with the quality of education the school provides.

The school is planning meetings with parents over the next half term to discuss the No Outsiders curriculum and how it should be delivered.

The school's assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat was named last month as a top 10 finalist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize in recognition of his No Outsiders programme.


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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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