Skip to main content

School rethinks plans to restart LGBT lessons amid parent protests

Primary said it would reintroduce lessons after Easter, despite protests, but now says it needs a resolution with parents

andrew moffat

Primary said it would reintroduce lessons after Easter, despite protests, but now says it needs a resolution with parents

A primary school says it will not reintroduce lessons on LGBT rights and same-sex relationships until it has reached a resolution with parents.

Parkfield Primary, in Birmingham, was forced to suspend its No Outsiders project, written by assistant headteacher and Global Teacher Prize nominee Andrew Moffat (pictured), following protests by parents.

The academy said it would reintroduce the lessons after Easter, despite the protests. However, it has now changed its stance following talks between its trust, parents and the regional schools commissioner on Tuesday. 

Quick read: Protests at school over LGBT lessons row

Quick read: Spielman backs school over No Outsiders 

Background: Teacher shortlisted for global prize 

A school spokesperson said: “As a result of these discussions, we are eager to continue to work together with parents over the coming days and weeks to find a solution that will support the children in our school to continue their education in a harmonious environment.

'Too much emphasis on LGBT'

"Until a resolution has been reached, No Outsiders lessons will not be taught at Parkfield and we hope that children will not be removed from school to take part in protests."

This week Ofsted praised the school and published a report concluding that the lessons were age-appropriate, which headteacher David Williams called "great news" for the school.

Inspectors said "a very small, but vocal, minority of parents are not clear about the school's vision, policies and practice", and that teachers should work on "further engagement" with mothers and fathers.

At the school, pupils were being taught about the positive values of diversity, tolerance and acceptance, in a broad curriculum encompassing LGBT rights, same-sex relationships, gender identity, race, religion and colour.

But the lessons sparked off weekly protests outside its gates, with mothers and fathers objecting to the teaching of the No Outsiders project.

Parkfield Parents' Community Group, which has organised protests, said members had a positive meeting with the Department for Education to discuss serious concerns about the programme.

Welcoming the suspension, the group called off its protest for this week and said it would keep the option of future rallies "under review".

The group said in a statement: "We made our position clear, that the No Outsiders programme cannot continue to be taught at Parkfield School and that a new programme needs be negotiated, with which parents are happy and meets the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010.”

At the school gates on Thursday, a handful of parents who were present were also supportive.

One, who declined to be named, said: "Of course we aren't against equality – the problem was too much emphasis on the LGBT side. The DfE listened to us. We'll see what happens now."

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

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