Birmingham primary school suspends LGBT lessons indefinitely | Education – The Guardian

Birmingham primary school suspends LGBT lessons indefinitely | Education - The Guardian

Parkfield School: Protests called off as LGBT lessons ended

Parkfield community school in Saltley has been the scene of weekly protests over the lessons, which parents claim are promoting gay and transgender lifestyles.

School chiefs have now said the No Outsiders lessons, which teach tolerance of diverse groups, including those of different races, genders and sexual orientation, will not be taught until a resolution has been reached.

This month about 600 Muslim children, aged between four and 11, were withdrawn from the school for the day, parents said. Parkfield would not confirm the number.

Read more It was cleared on Tuesday of any wrongdoing by Ofsted, with the schools watchdog praising Parkfields record on promoting tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect and confirming its Ofsted rating of outstanding.

On the same day talks took place between parents, education chiefs and the Excelsior Multi Academy Trust, which runs Parkfield, leading to the announcement that the lessons would be suspended.

In a statement, the school said: Nothing is more important than ensuring our childrens education continues uninterrupted.

Both parents and the trust held constructive discussions with the regional schools commissioner, and, 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.

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.

In January, the Guardian reported that the assistant headteacher of the school was forced to defend the lessons after 400 predominantly Muslim parents signed a petition that called for them to be dropped from the curriculum.

Andrew Moffat, who was awarded an MBE for his work in equality education, said he was threatened and targeted via a leaflet campaign after the school piloted the No Outsiders programme. Its ethos is to promote LGBT equality and challenge homophobia in primary schools.

Moffat, who has been shortlisted for a worlds best teacher award, resigned from another primary school in Birmingham, Chilwell Croft academy, after a similar dispute. He is also the author of Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools, a teaching document.

At one of the Parkfield protests, parents held signs that read say no to promoting of homosexuality and LGBT ways of life to our children, stop exploiting childrens innocence and education not indoctrination.

Parkfield parents community group, which has organised protests, said members had a positive meeting with the Department for Education (DfE) to discuss serious concerns with the programme.

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

Mohammed Aslam, a spokesperson, said: We welcome these developments and reiterate that the school needs to work with parents in a spirit of partnership and cooperation and not against them in educating their children.

A primary school in Birmingham has caved in to pressure from protesters and stopped teaching classes on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.

Hundreds of parents had held demonstrations outside Parkfield Community School over a programme that promotes LGBT equality and challenges homophobia. A further protest had been planned for this morning after the school said that the classes would resume as planned after Easter.

However, the school later said that the No Outsiders programme would not be taught until talks with parents reach a resolution.

The programme was written by Andrew Moffat, the schools assistant head teacher, who says that he received threats after a campaign was launched against the lessons in January. He says that most protesters were not from the school…

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