Anger erupts at Parkfield Community School over plans to restart 'No Outsiders' equality lessons

  • Video report by ITV News On-Screen Journalist Nitya Rajan

Angry parents descended on Parkfield Community School's gates protesting the reintroduction of equality lessons (9 July 2019)

The programme at the centre of a heated debate over LGBT rights is to be relaunched at the school in Birmingham after four months of consultation with parents.

Jay Hussain, a parent, addressed the congregation gathered at the school's doors telling them 'it's against our Islam.'

He told ITV News Central: "Do not ask us or our children at that age to accept gay is ok because it goes against our primary beliefs, one of the most important beliefs in Islam."

In a statement the school reiterated the programme had been redesigned with a faith community in mind.

It read: "As a result of the consultation ‘No Outsiders for a faith community’ has been especially designed for Parkfield Community School acknowledging and respecting the concerns and sensitivity expressed by some parents in the present school community.

"In the resource there are lessons referencing race, religion, age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation and disability."

The "No Outsiders" programme was suspended at Parkfield School in Alum following protests from parents claiming the teaching and related books were "not age appropriate".

The programme was developed by the school's assistant head Andrew Moffatt.

Parent protestor Credit: BPM Media

The programme's creator Mr Moffatt has said its aim was to introduce children to diversity in society and make them accept difference within the world today so that 'everybody is welcome'. The aim of the programme was to find a way to teach children about the Equality Act 2010, developing an understanding of British values through an inclusive curriculum and school ethos.

Parkfield Community School

It comes ahead of relationships education being made mandatory in September 2020.

Currently parents are only allowed to excuse their children from sex education lessons and not teachings about equality or diversity.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds condemned the protestors and said "ultimately schools decide what is taught."

In a statement he said: "No child should have to walk past a protest to attend school, neither should any teacher."

Education Secretary Damian Hinds decried the presence of protestors.

The programme was halted before Easter to allow for further talks with parents who voiced concerns, amid protests at the school gates.

Andrew Warren, the regional schools commissioner for the West Midlands, parents, the trust and local MP Liam Byrne were involved in the talks.

Last week we reported that headteacher David Williams was quitting the school to take up another leadership role within Excelsior Multi Academy Trust, which runs the school in Saltley.

He has been head at Parkfield, which is Ofsted rated 'outstanding', through a period of significant turmoil triggered by protests at the school gates over the teaching of No Outsiders.