No Outsiders is alive and well

31st October 2008 at 00:00

Thank you for reporting on the difficulties faced by the No Outsiders project team ("Gay education in primaries climbs back into the closet" (TES, October 17).

The project's aim to challenge homophobia and transphobia in and through primary education was always likely to be controversial, but we have no intention of being stopped in our tracks even by the extremity of opposition to this groundbreaking work from certain groups. It seems that there are some people who will stand out against equality whatever the changes in the law.

We have postponed further work with the media until a later date because, with extremists calling for team members' execution, our main concern must be to protect the teachers, schools and children involved with the project. However, our work has in no way been halted: the work in schools continues, and we are holding a highly successful series of professional development events around the country for education practitioners and policymakers.

We have the full support of the General Teaching Council and the National Union of Teachers, and last month, the project's teachers were presented with the British Educational Research AssociationSage Publishers award for practitioner research. The project teachers' work demonstrates how primary schools and local authorities can really make the notion that Every Child Matters work, and meet their statutory requirements in relation to gender equality, community cohesion, prevention of bullying and child wellbeing.

The No Outsiders project, and the ongoing work that it has inspired, is alive and well and promising a fairer future for all our children, and for the adults they will grow up to be.

- www.nooutsiders.sunderland.ac.uk

Dr Elizabeth Atkinson, Director, No Outsiders project, co-director, Centre for Equalities and Social Justice, University of Sunderland.

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