Parents concerned about LGBT school lessons are 'not homophobes', says Christian group

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Ofsted has been accused of failing to give a fair hearing to parents concerned about what their young children are learning in school about same-sex relationships.

LGBT lessons in primary schools have come under the spotlight following protests by hundreds of Muslim and Christian parents at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham over a series of lessons covering LGBT issues called 'No Outsiders'.

The parents have accused the school of trying to indoctrinate their children after the 'No Outsiders' programme was started at the school by assistant head Andrew Moffat, who is gay. 

He has been accused by parents of 'promoting personal beliefs and convictions about universal acceptability of homosexuality as being normal and morally correct'.

The parents also argue that the lessons are inappropriate for a school with a largely Muslim population. 

Protestor Mariam Ahmed told the Express: 'What they are teaching is not right, they are too young.

'There are nine parts of the [Equality] Act and they only seem to be focusing on one, homosexuality, and that is wrong. They need to have an ethos which reflects the area.

'It's not just because we are Muslims, there are Christians here too. We don't have a vendetta against homosexuals and we respect the Act.

'We respect that Mr Moffat is gay and we are happy for him to teach.'

On Thursday, the head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, defended the 'No Outsiders' lessons and said that protests would not change what was being taught in classes but rather 'sane, rational discussions' and 'proper conversations'.

'It's making sure they know just enough to know that some people prefer not to get married to somebody of the opposite sex and that sometimes there are families that have two mummies and two daddies,' she told the BBC.

'It's about making sure that children who do happen to realise that they themselves may not fit a conventional pattern know that they're not bad or ill.'

But the Christian Institute accused Ofsted of being obsessed with forcing primary school children to learn about same-sex issues and argued that such lessons should be left until secondary school age.

Director Colin Hart said Mrs Spielman's remarks did nothing to reassure parents of faith that their concerns were being heard. 

'It's LGBT issues that we always seem to be hearing about. Parents want Ofsted to ensure the quality of education. They don't want Ofsted side-tracked into identity politics,' he said.

He continued: 'Not every controversial issue has to be covered in primary schools. 

'The idea of teaching ever more detail about sex to ever younger children is deeply worrying. Treating parents who object as homophobes is not the answer. They just want to protect their child's innocence.' 

He added: 'Instead of listening to parents or allaying their concerns, the Chief Inspector of Schools seems to be casting doubts on their integrity. Implying that parents' desire to protect their own children is from fear, ignorance or possibly even homophobia.'

Parkfield Community School has said that the outcome of a consultation with council representatives and faith leaders will be shared with parents after the half term break.