Children's commissioner backs primary school at centre of LGBT row

Protests have been taking place outside Anderton Park Primary School for 12 months

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The children's commissioner has pledged her support to a Birmingham primary school at the centre of an LGBT teaching row.

Anne Longfield said parents should not be able to remove their children from Anderton Park Primary School's same-sex relationship lessons, despite ongoing protests outside the school gates.

The protests by disgruntled parents have been going on for 12 weeks, and yesterday a judge put in place a fresh injunction to move them away from the school.

Ms Longfield said it was crucial that the protests "were stopped".

"I've been pleased that people have come forward and said that the programme [of lessons] must go ahead and that the curriculum must be upheld but I think that needs to be said stronger and stronger," she told an Education Select Committee today.

Anderton Park head teacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson

"It's not something we allow for any other aspect of the curriculum and it's something which those children have a right to be able to take part in."

Headteacher of the school, Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, has called for education secretary Damian Hinds to visit the school, and discuss the current policy on relationships and LGBT education.

She added: "The importance of this goes beyond Anderton Park, it goes beyond protests on my pavements, it's a British law issue."

However, speaking to talkRADIO this morning, the chief news editor of an Islamic current affairs website argued that parents were having their "legally mandated rights" overridden.

"You have parents complaining of kids coming home and saying 'Mummy, I might be a boy trapped in a girls body'," he said.

"The parents are feeling that these are issues that are not products of hard facts. These are issues of moral beliefs, philosophical convictions that adults don't even agree on."

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