LGBT schools row: Equality teaching to return to Parkfield School

Andrew Moffat

A suspended equality programme at the centre of a row about teaching LGBT rights will return at a school.

The No Outsiders programme at Parkfield Community School sparked protests, which spread to Anderton Park Primary School, with parents claiming the teachings were not “age appropriate”

The Birmingham-based school said the new version of the programme had been designed to respect parental concerns.

But a parent group has said it feels it is still “biased” towards LGBT issues.

The amended scheme, called ‘No Outsiders for a Faith Community’, will be implemented at Parkfield Community School in Alum Rock in September.

Parkfield school protest
Image captionHundreds of parents and children gathered outside Parkfield Community School in protest of the teachings

The school said the re-launch followed five months of consultation with parents, community representatives and the Department for Education.

It said that in the amended resource, lessons referenced race, religion, age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation and disability.

A spokesperson for the school said: “As a result of the consultation ‘No Outsiders for a Faith Community’ has been especially designed for Parkfield Community School acknowledging and respecting the concerns and sensitivity expressed by some parents in the present school community.”

The resources and programme will also be structured for each year group.

“Our school ethos of equality and everyone being welcome remains a key aspect of our school,” the spokesperson added.

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However, the Parkfield Parents Group said it had voted against the newly-developed programme.

“This is because it is well known that the original programme and now even the new programme is heavily biased towards LGBTQ, whereas an equality programme doesn’t need to be,” it said.

The No Outsiders programme is being taught at more than a hundred schools across England.

It was designed by Andrew Moffat, the assistant head at Parkfield School, in 2014.

He said its aim was to introduce children to diversity in society and make them accept difference within the world today so that everybody is welcome.

Ofsted previously ruled the lessons at Parkfield were age-appropriate.

Birmingham’s Anderton Park School has also faced months of protests over the programme.

Protesters have been banned from its gates by a High Court injunction, with a trial to take place later this month to decide whether they can resume directly outside the school.