An overwhelming majority of 538 MPs voted in favour of changing the current curriculum to become inclusive of LGBT relationships. Only 21 MPs voted against the changes.
Amongst all the Brexit chaos and drama, much of the other big changes in the country are currently being overshadowed. This week parliament made the decision to alter the current guidelines of sex and relationship education in English schools.
Under the new rules, schools will teach pupils about same-sex couples and parents, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities and the impact of stereotypes and prejudices on those groups in society. Primary school teachers are also expected to adhere to these new guidelines but must tackle the subject with sensitivity and make sure it is age appropriate. S
MP’s backing these changes to the curriculum is a huge win for schools following recent incidents. Several schools in Birmingham have faced a backlash from parents for teaching the ‘No Outsiders’ programme which educates pupils on the Equality Act, sexual orientation, gender and race.
Parkfield Community School and Birmingham’s Leigh Trust are among the schools which were forced to halt these lessons following protests from the community. Parents complained that the content was inappropriate and that they had not been adequately consulted about the lessons. Contrastingly, Ofsted inspector’s have concluded that the lessons are ‘age-appropriate’.
Chair of the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, Reverend Stephen Terry said of the recent events;
A school’s task is to set out different views and approaches in society, with an overall duty to tackle prejudice and foster good relations between people of different characteristics.
Teachers should be actively supported in this regard, not undermined.
If these regulations agreed upon in parliament are approved by the House of Lords then these changes could be implemented in schools from September 2020.