Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, which represents the majority of primary schools, and has been supporting those schools under protest, said:
“There is widespread agreement – from the general public, education experts, and the law – that it is appropriate to teach primary age children that there are different kinds of relationships, and that not every family is the same. We agree with the Secretary of State that ‘diversity and equality are a matter of fact and a matter of law, and learning about them is not optional.’
“The Secretary of State has already strongly encouraged every primary school to continue what they are already doing – to teach about relationships in an inclusive way. But the protests outside schools need to end, and the best way to achieve that is for the government to be absolutely clear about what will be taught in schools and when and how. At present, DfE guidance says that ‘primary schools are enabled and encouraged to cover LGBT content if they consider it age appropriate to do so’. We’d like the ‘if’ changed to ‘when’.
“NAHT will continue to work alongside the schools where there have been protests, to help everyone involved restore a peaceful and productive teaching and learning environment. Dedicated public servants faithfully discharging their duty have an absolute right to feel confident and safe, and pupils should never have to experience noisy and aggressive protests at school.”
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