Yes to teaching about same-sex issues in UK primary schools

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) in the UK has approved the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and gender identity-related issues in primary schools.
Many parents are up in arms about the decision, yet Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, says the subject is part of teaching and learning about tolerance, diversity and transformation.
Teacher Andrew Moffat, the assistant head teacher of Parkfield Community School in Alum Rock, Birmingham, caused an eruption of parent complaints when he introduced his students to a programme called “No Outsiders In Our School”. Moffat is the recipient of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) and was shortlisted for the $1m Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019, an international award that celebrates inspirational teachers. The other 2019 finalists teach in Georgia, Brazil, the Netherlands, India, the US, Argentina, Australia, Japan and Kenya.

Moffat teaches in a predominantly Muslim community and became the focus of parent-driven protests outside the school gates and over 80 formal complaints. The school was inspected by Ofsted when parents complained. The school was rated as an outstanding institution in 2016.
Spielman has made her support of Moffat’s programme public, telling the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC): “The essence of democracy is that we don’t all get our way. We accept majority decision which means there will always be things that some of us don’t like, but that is the very essence of it – accepting that we can’t have 100% of what we want.”

Category: Winter 2019

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