Muslim parents in school protest against lessons on British equality values

Monday, February 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

18 February 2019

More than 300 parents and children gathered outside Parkfield Community School, Birmingham, to protest against lessons on equality at the school including issues of homosexuality and gender.

Some Muslim demonstrators said they would rather leave the UK than allow their children to continue attending the school.

Pupils at the school have five of these lessons a year, covering areas outlined in the Act: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Parents’ anger is aimed at the school’s assistant head Andrew Moffat, who is behind the ‘No Outsiders’ lessons. He created the scheme to teach children about the Equality Act and British values.

The programme was first piloted at the school in 2014 and is now also taught at dozens of other schools in the country.

Mr Moffat, who is in a civil partnership, was made an MBE for services to equality and diversity in education in 2017. He is currently shortlisted for a ‘world’s best teacher’ award.

One father, whose daughter attends the school, said his wife wanted to leave the country rather than let her daughter attend the lessons.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: “My daughter has been asking questions my wife did not know how to answer. She is too young for this. A family who live near me have already returned to Pakistan because of it.”

Mr Moffat said he tried to meet parents but stopped when they became “personal and aggressive”. He has described receiving threats from parents online. He told the BBC: ‘I have felt very threatened… it’s been a challenging couple of weeks.

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