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  1. ITV Report

Teachers can let pupils know 'it's okay to be gay' Education Secretary Damian Hinds tells Commons

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said teachers should tell children it is okay to be gay.

Mr Hinds was responding to Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips, whose city has been at the centre of protests from parents demonstrating against schools giving lessons on LGBT relationships.

Ms Phillips told the Commons she met a headteacher from her constituency who wrote to the Department of Education without reply.

He had asked what a teacher should say if a pupil asks if it is okay to be gay – to which Mr Hinds simply replied: “They should say 'yes'.”

Jess Phillips asked for a specific answer.

His concise answer comes three weeks after he said LGBT protests “have to stop” outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham.

Teachers have previously reported frustrations over "vague" guidelines, which some say do not clearly instruct schools to give lessons on LGBT relationships.

Speaking to ITV News earlier this month, Mr Hinds fell short of definitively requiring primary schools to provide teaching about LGBT equality and did not directly say what teacher guidance means in practice.

However, the East Hampshire MP did say: "I'm entirely clear all children of all ages should know about relationships and should be respectful of other people's relationships."

"You're never too young to learn", he added, when it comes to "understanding" and "respect for others".

Children at school may have two mothers or two dads, Mr Hinds said, which is "just a fact of life in modern Britain".