Government 'too slow' to tackle LGBT protests

Sara Khan told the BBC's Panorama that the government was ‘too slow to respond’ to ‘mob’ protests over LGBT teaching outside Birmingham schools.

Khan, who leads the Commission for Countering Extremism, said that more support should have been given to head teachers dealing with demonstrations and that the Department for Education ‘could have played a very important role in clarifying to parents’ what is actually being taught.

The protests, which began in February, have seen parents call for an end to the use of story books featuring same sex couples, as part of a programme teaching about equality, mainly on the grounds that the family’s religion did not accept homosexuality.

Campaigners, particularly at Parkfield Community School, where most pupils are Muslim, said homosexuality was morally wrong and it was inappropriate to teach young children about same-sex relationships.

From September 2020, it will be compulsory to teach relationships education for primary-age pupils and relationships and sex education (RSE) for secondary-age pupils. However, the government says that teaching should be ‘with respect to the backgrounds and beliefs of pupils and parents’, and schools can decide when it is ‘age appropriate’ to being the lessons.

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