WATCH: Standing firm against 'horrific’ LGBT protests

Deputy head of school at centre of weeks of protests praises 'resilient' staff who 'know it is right to fight this'

Martin George

Claire Evans, deputy head of Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham, discusses protests about LGBT content in lessons.

The deputy head of a primary school at the centre of vocal protests about LGBT content in lessons has described the experience as “utterly horrific”.

Claire Evans told Tes the protests outside Anderton Park Primary have been going on for approximately nine weeks.

The school's head has said that psychologists working at the school have raised concerns about the effect on staff, and there is evidence that campaigns against LGBT content are spreading to more parts of England.

She said: “During that time, the protests have become more and more difficult to deal with. They have become more and more challenging for the staff to deal with.

“The headteacher and I have tried to take as much of that difficulty away from staff [as possible].

"We don’t share everything that’s happening with the protests as a damage limitation because our wonderful teachers and our wonderful staff have many obligations, they need to teach our brilliant children, so we try to absorb it, but it has been utterly horrific, and I would not wish it upon anybody else to have to go through.”

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Speaking after attending a briefing for MPs on the issue organised by the NAHT headteachers’ union, she described her staff as “very resilient”, and added that “morally, they know it is right and proper and correct to fight this”.

Ms Evans said the school had continued to engage with parents, holding weekly and twice-weekly meetings, but that “unfortunately, not all parents have come”.

She said the difficulty the school faced had been trying to separate the parents away from the protesters who are not parents.

Asked about her advice for any schools that may become the subject of similar protests, she said: “It’s just really important to be clear that this is the law, that this is a public sector equality duty, that we are here to promote equality, and that is all aspects of equality.”

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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