More schools suspend No Outsiders programme

March 19, 2019

The Leigh Trust, which runs five state funded schools in Birmingham, has suspended teaching the ‘No Outsiders‘ programme at its schools. The Trust has written to parents stating the programme has been suspended to allow ‘… meaningful and open discussions with the parents of all children in our schools’.

The letter follows news last week that Parkfield Community School in Birmingham had also suspended provision of the ‘No Outsiders’ programme, which followed protests over its covering of LGBT content. The programme seeks to promote acceptance of people of different characteristics protected under the Equality Act, including through a school’s provision of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. An Ofsted report on the school earlier this month found its teaching of LGBT content was not disproportionate or age inappropriate.

Chair of the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, the Reverend Stephen Terry, said ‘This latest news is extremely worrying. Parents are entitled to their views on sexuality and morality, and to set these beliefs before their children.’

‘A school’s task is to set out different views and approaches in society, with an overall duty to tackle prejudice and foster good relations between people of different characteristics. Teachers should be actively supported in this regard, not undermined.’

‘It is difficult to see public protests that have occurred against the No Outsiders programme as anything other than homophobic and intolerant. If such attitudes are not challenged, but seen to be appeased, then we will not create the inclusive and tolerant society which the vast majority of our citizens, of whatever ethnic and religious heritage, wish to see.’

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