Equality lessons row: Watchdog chief speaks out about Birmingham schools controversy

Equality lessons row: Watchdog chief speaks out about Birmingham schools controversy
News
Posted on 5 Nov 2019

The chair of the country’s equality watchdog, the Equality & Human Rights Commission, has recommended that primary schools teach lessons about LGBT+ relationships without first consulting parents about the issue.


David Isaac’s comments were made against the backdrop of the ongoing row in two Birmingham schools - Parkfield and Anderton Park - where parants have been joined by activists in protesting against lessons about LGBTs. 

Speaking to the Independent, Mr Isaac said: “This is not a zero-sum game. 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.”

The Independent then reports that when asked whether he believed parental consultation should not have to take place, Mr Isaac answered: “As an absolute requirement before these things are taught - yes I do think that.”


A government spokesperson said: “Engagement between parents and schools plays a key role in the education of children. It allows everyone to understand what is being taught and why, and develops a shared set of values. However it does not mean that parents have a veto over curriculum content.

“We have been clear that children should be taught about healthy relationships in an age-appropriate way that respects everyone and prepares them for life in modern Britain.”

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