Despite growing protests from parents around the country, MPs have backed reforms to enable primary and secondary schools to deliver LGBT lessons as part of their curriculum.
The move means that from September 2020, health and relationships education will be compulsory in all primary schools and secondary schools under RSE – Relationships and Sex Education.
In addition, in all secondary schools, sex education will now be mandatory.
However, growing numbers of schools are facing protests from parents at their school gates following the ‘No Outsiders’ programme being suspended at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.
Project teaches LGBT relationships to pupils
The project teaches LGBT relationships to pupils, along with other issues, but parents have voiced their protest.
Now one school in Manchester has found parents are protesting at its school gates with protesters handing out letters to parents. Six other schools have also been targeted.
The government’s new regulations which are LGBT-inclusive were announced by Damian Hinds, the education secretary, last month.
The new law needs to be approved by the House of Lords so from next year all secondary schools will need to teach students about gender identity and sexual orientation. Primary schools will be required to teach about different families, which may include those with LGBT parents.
The teaching of relationships
In response to the growing protest from parents in Manchester, the city’s mayor, Andy Burnham issued a statement which said that the teaching of relationships, and the quality of relationships, helps to support teachers and parents as well as LGBT young people to build ‘strong and united communities’.
Among the organisations welcoming the government’s move is Stonewall which has been lobbying for a more inclusive RSE curriculum.
A spokeswoman for Stonewall said they were looking forward to delivering high-quality inclusive teaching when working with the government and building on best practice.
She added: “The new subjects have the potential for delivering real change in how people, LGBT families and relationships are taught.”
Help ‘foster greater acceptance and inclusion’
She said that the lessons will help ‘foster greater acceptance and inclusion’ along with greater understanding in playgrounds and classrooms.
Research has highlighted that around half of LGBT pupils say they’ve been bullied over their sexuality while two in five pupils are not taught about LGBT issues while in school.