Two high-profile Labour Members of Parliament have reaffirmed their party’s commitment to LGBT inclusive education across England
Speaking at The Whitehouse Consultancy’s ‘Lessons from Labour’ event on Wednesday evening, in the Houses of Parliament, Mike Kane MP, Shadow Minister of State for Schools, and Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Former Shadow Minister of State for Children and Families, encouraged the introduction of inclusive education in schools, including those of faith, despite widespread protests over the ‘No Outsiders’ programme at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham last month.
Emma Lewell-Buck said: “The bullying and the harm that LGBT children suffer, and the mental health issues that come as a result, is something we need to address. I can’t help thinking that, perhaps, if the protesters outside that school had these lessons in their youth, then they might not have been protesting. We want the next generation to understand.”
In March, MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of LGBT inclusive relationship and sex education for schools in England. 538 MPs backed the bill, brought forward by Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds MP, which ensures children are taught about the different family models from primary school age. The measure was opposed by 21 MPs.
Mike Kane said: “I praise Nick Gibb and Damien Hinds over this, and we supported them in introducing that legislation and voting it through the House of Commons. This curriculum is inclusive and for most professionals, including faith-based schools, they say it is appropriate.”
Parents at the Birmingham primary school staged several weeks of protests, opposing LGBT-inclusive relationships education, some of whom accused the school of “promoting homosexuality”. Labour MP, Shabana Mahmood, also faced widespread backlash after she flagged concerns about the lessons, criticising their ‘age-appropriateness’.
In contrast, during The Whitehouse Consultancy event, both Emma Lewell-Buck and Mike Kane commended Parkfield Community School for creating an environment that Ofsted describes as one of ‘tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect’.
Mike Kane added: “It was the right thing to do to attach the amendment for inclusive education, and in the end it was very good cross-party working.”
Stonewall, a leading LGBT charity in the UK, recently spoke out against the “misinformation” being spread about LGBT-inclusive education, stating that: “While we have made huge progress, we can’t lose ground on this now.”
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