The head teacher of Anderton Park, the Birmingham school at the heart of the ongoing row over equality lessons, has said that there are times when it seems “as though my soul has been destroyed and I feel my heart has been crushed”.
Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson was speaking at the Wellington College Festival of Education.
Anderton Park has been subjected to weeks of protests by mainly Muslim parents and activists who dislike the fact that the school teaches lessons in equality - and has indeed done so uninterrupted for nearly a decade.
A High Court injunction taken out by Birmingham City Council is currently stopping protesters from demonstrating in the vicinity of the school.
Hewitt-Clarkson was joined at the Wellington College Festival of Education event by Luke Tryl, a former senior adviser to the government and Ofsted. Tryl said he felt that head teachers were being 'profoundly let down' by policymakers and suffering because the government wasn’t being ‘brave enough’ in supporting them.
Also attending the event and taking an altogether different view was Judith Nemeth, from the Values Foundation, who argued that LGBT relationships shouldn’t be taught until same-sex families were more stable.
Nemeth said: “We are looking at this relatively new phenomenon of legal LGBT relationships…we feel that in order to hand on heart and very securely teach about LGBT in primary school, we need to see generations of families that are stable, that are secure and that show continuity.
“We don’t do anything [in education] without good research and years of research, and we need to see that through before making it mandatory.”
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