Schools should be free to teach LGBT relationships, says watchdog chief

Protests outside a school in Birmingham (Pic credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Protests outside a school in Birmingham (Pic credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

SCHOOLS should not be forced to consult parents before teaching LGBT equality lessons, the chief of UK’s equality watchdog has said.

David Isaac, the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said primary schools should be free to teach children about same sex relationships and they should not be obliged to seek consent from parents.

He also said teaching about same-sex relationships should not be seen as an attack on anyone’s religious beliefs.

“This is not a zero-sum game,” Isaac told the Independent. “If children are being taught about same-sex families that doesn’t mean to say that is a direct attack upon anybody else’s religious beliefs or the tenets of their faith.

“We obviously need to be sensitive to that but children need to understand this. My view is those things should be taught at primary school. Just talking about the existence of these families doesn’t mean that they are advocating for them. This is just what 21st-century Britain is and what the law requires.”

Isaac’s comments come following multiple protests outside schools in Birmingham over same-sex relationship education. Anderton Park Primary School and Parkfield Community School saw multiple protests from concerned parents over lessons on LGBT relationships.

Protesters argued that primary school children were too young to be taught about same sex relationship. Many also said it went against their religious teachings.

Parkfield Community school has brought back its No Outsiders programme, which uses textbooks to teach about LGBT relationship. Andrew Moffat, the pioneer of the No Outsiders programme, said he was in favour of parent engagement.

He told the Independent that consultations were needed to make parents understand what is actually being taught.

He said: “Most parents when they see that we are just teaching about different families understand this as part of community cohesion and a wider picture of equality preparing children for life in modern Britain.

“I remain in favour of parent engagement – in fact more so now than ever before.”