A terrible lesson for children

After ongoing protests, a Birmingham primary school has suspended its “no outsiders” programme, which teaches children about equality. The protesters have done the usual religious thing, accusing the school of “promoting gay and transgender lifestyles.” It’s been reported as a muslim protest but many of the parents protesting are christians; the lessons have been reported as “LGBT lessons” when they’re also about religion, race and disability.

No Outsiders is about teaching children that “there are no outsiders here!” I know this because the programme is available online, as are presentations to parents about it.

Here’s a slide explaining the ethos.

The characteristics of the Equality Act are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion/belief, sex and sexual orientation.

As the course’s creator Andrew Moffat MBE explains: “we have to find ways to encourage children to choose to sign up to living in a multicultural and multi-faith UK, where they can live alongside, work alongside and get along with people who are different to them.”

Cancelling the lessons sets a terrible precedent. The aim of the lessons is to teach children “to recognise and celebrate diversity and difference in their own communities and in the wider society.” Letting the intolerant shut them down is entirely the wrong lesson to teach children.