Schools that fail to teach pupils about LGBT relationships risk being marked down by Ofsted inspectors.
Secondary schools that decide not to cover these lessons are unlikely to receive a judgment better than ‘requires improvement’ for their leadership and management, the watchdog guidance says.
Primary schools that do not consult parents before deciding against teaching LGBT relationships could also be penalised by inspectors in judgments, Ofsted has warned.
Dr Tom Rogers, SPUC education outreach manager, criticised the guidance notes, saying that a good Ofsted rating is important but not at any cost.
“Ofsted has a track record, particularly when dealing with independent faith schools, of misrepresenting Equalities legislation and unjustly penalising schools who want to remain true to their ethos and avoid promoting LGBT ideology explicitly to children,” he told The Catholic Universe.
“It will often depend on the individual inspectors visiting the school, but certainly such overreach must and is being challenged.”
He pointed out that “it is still not a legal requirement in any way to teach LGBT issues at primary school”.
His comments came after referrals for transgender treatment for children have rocketed by 4,000 per cent in the past decade. “A whole generation is being affected and it’s essential now to protect young children from the harm and confusion caused by the promotion of the LGBT agenda in our schools,” he said.
Teaching relationships education is compulsory in all state schools in England from this academic year 2020-21 – and sex education is mandatory in secondary schools.
But the Department for Education (DfE) has said schools can delay teaching the new Relationships and Sex education (RSE) curriculum until the start of the summer term due to the partial closures of schools.
The move was taken to give schools more time to prepare to deliver the new curriculum and to engage with parents on their policies and content due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, “the new RSE statutory guidance requires what are vaguely termed ‘LGBT issues’ to be taught at secondary school. The problem is that without the parental right of withdrawal that can leave children exposed to whatever the school decides to teach, and how OFSTED will typically interpret the guidance is yet to be seen,” warned Dr Rogers.
SPUC Safe at School is supporting a Judicial Review, pursued by the Let Kids Be Kids coalition, which is challenging Government RSE policy on the grounds that it violates parents human rights.
Last year, some primary schools in Birmingham faced protests at the school gates from parents who opposed allowing children to be taught about LGBT issues.
The DfE expects secondary schools, state-funded or independent, to deliver teaching on LGBT relationships and encourages primary schools to do so.
From the start of summer term, if a secondary school does not teach about LGBT relationships, inspectors ‘will consider this when making the leadership and management judgment’, and schools ‘will not ordinarily receive a judgment for this better than requires improvement’.
Picture: Parents demonstrate outside Anderton Park school in Birmingham last year after concerns were raised over LGBT lessons in the school. (Jacob King/PA).