'The government’s support for schools attacked for promoting LGBT+ inclusion has been “half-hearted” and has left many teachers “exposed”, public figures and religious activists say.
Author Philip Pullman and Tory MP Crispin Blunt are among 77 signatories of a letter to the education secretary following months of protests outside schools against LGBT+ lessons.
The open letter says government guidance, which says primary schools are encouraged to cover LGBT+ content if they consider it “age appropriate”, has been “weakly ambiguous”.
It comes as families resumed demonstrations outside a primary school at the centre of a row over teaching children about the existence of same-sex parents.
Parents protested at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham this week after the school announced it would bring back a suspended equality programme after months of consultation.
Protestors argue that children are too young to learn about same-sex relationships through reading story books – which is part of the school’s No Outsiders diversity programme.
The row at Parkfield sparked weekly protests at the nearby Anderton Park primary school and led to a political debate over what age was appropriate to teach children about LGBT+ couples.
The letter, shared exclusively with The Independent, calls on the Department for Education (DfE) to step up the support given to schools promoting the acceptance of LGBT+ people.
The government is making Relationships Education compulsory in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory in secondary schools from September 2020.
The DfE guidance on the changes, which has been updated for the first time in two decades, requires secondary schools to include content on LGBT+ relationships in their teaching.'
Read more: LGBT+ lessons: Government’s support for schools promoting equality has been ‘half-hearted’ and left teachers exposed, leading figures say