Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros263. Living together in a neolibera...Relationships Education in Englis...

3. Living together in a neoliberal age of inequalities and social fragmentation

Relationships Education in English Primary Schools : Squaring the Circle of Equality in the Early 21st Century

Anne Beauvallet
p. 193-217

Résumé

This paper belongs to the field of curriculum research and is based on a case study, that of the No Outsiders project initiated in the Parkfield Community School in Birmingham which started teaching Relationships Education (RE) before it became a compulsory subject in English primary schools in September 2020. No Outsiders partly covers the contents of RE and clearly refers to same-sex relationships and LGBT issues. This is exactly what protesters daily contested outside the school in 2019. Government guidance on RE, No Outsiders and the arguments of the project’s opponents are based on the 2010 Equality Act which defines “protected” “characteristics” like “religion or belief” or “sex and sexual orientation”. Can the 2010 Act ensure all those “characteristics” are equally “protected”? The approach of the government to tackling same-sex relationships in primary schools and parents’ rights has been everything but clear and the 2010 Equality Act seems to fall short in its attempt to safeguard all the “characteristics” it lists.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 The London Gazette, B20.

1Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) has long been taught in English schools although it is a non-statutory subject. One aspect called Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) was made compulsory under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 (section 34). More specifically, since September 2020, all primary schools have had to teach Relationships Education (RE) while Relationships and Sex Education has been provided at secondary level. Some like Parkfield Community School, an academy in Birmingham, had already started including RE in their curriculum through the No Outsiders project which some protesters opposed in 2019. This paper belongs to the wider field of curriculum research and is based on a case study. No Outsiders was selected as it constituted a forerunner before the implementation of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and the formal introduction of the subject into the National Curriculum. It can also be argued that the project has been unique in the way it has been praised officially and in the way it has faced vocal opposition. In 2017, Andrew Moffat, assistant head teacher at Parkfield Community School who initiated No Outsiders, was awarded an MBE “for services to equality and diversity in education”1 and in 2019 the project was the target of daily protests outside the school, mostly for its reference to same-sex relationships and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues (LGBT).

2Government guidance on RE, advocates and opponents of No Outsiders keep referring to the 2010 Equality Act. The latter defines “characteristics” like “religion or belief” or “sex and sexual orientation”. Does it ensure all these “characteristics” are equally “protected” when it comes to Relationships Education? This paper seeks to first explore the legal and educational background to the subject and then focus on the No Outsiders project. The arguments of protesters and their supporters are also to be analysed before tackling the deeper significance of such incidents which bear out just how problematic living together can be in spite of legal efforts.

Educational and Legal Background to Relationships Education

  • 2 Goddard, G., Smith, V., Boycott, C., 2013, p. 8.
  • 3 Goddard, G., Smith, V., Boycott, C., 2013, p. 9; Victoria Climbié’s death resulted in the Every Chi (...)
  • 4 Goddard, G., Smith, V., Boycott, C., 2013, pp. 8-9.
  • 5 Macdonald, A., 2009, p. 10.
  • 6 Macdonald, A., 2009, p. 7.
  • 7 Macdonald, A., 2009, p. 7.

3When tracing the evolution of Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE), Gillian Goddard, Viv Smith and Carol Boycott highlight both the efforts of specific parties like the “anti-discrimination agenda of the Labour government” in the 1970s and events like the murders of James Bulger in 19932 and of Victoria Climbié in 2000, forcing administrations into action3. Although PSHE “as a discrete subject emerged in the 1980s”, its very existence was “killed off”4 as the 1990 National Curriculum identified its themes as being “cross-curricular”5. Such themes would thus be taught in various subjects and across the school (for instance through the school ethos and assemblies) and not be treated as a specific subject in its own right although “the issues that PSHE education covers are central to young people’s wellbeing”: for example “nutrition and physical activity; drugs, alcohol and tobacco”, “careers; work-related learning; and personal finance”6. This is why the PSHE Association, founded in 2006, has campaigned since 2010 to make the subject statutory as was recommended by the 2009 independent review led by Sir Alasdair Macdonald7.

  • 8 Ofsted, 2013.
  • 9 House of Commons Education Committee, 2015, p. 3.
  • 10 Carmichael, N., Cooper, Y., Miller, M., Wollaston, S., Wright, I.; Theresa May had been Conservativ (...)
  • 11 PSHE Association, 2019.

4The Association has been supported by several prominent organisations such as the inspectorate body (Ofsted) in 20138, the House of Commons Education Committee in 20159 and the Commons Health, Home Affairs, Women and Equalities and Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committees in November 2016 in a letter to Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening10. The PSHE Association’s campaign was partially successful thanks to the Children and Social Work Act 2017 which made Relationships and Sex Education compulsory, the latter “account[ing] for about 80% of the PSHE education curriculum”11.

  • 12 DfEE, 2000, p. 5.
  • 13 DfEE, 2000, p. 11.
  • 14 DfEE, 2000, p. 11.
  • 15 DfE, December 2017, p. 3.
  • 16 DfE, February 2019, p. 6.

5In 2000, the Sex and Relationship Education Guidance issued by the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) listed, among others, “the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships” and “the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health”12 but also made clear that until then sex education was harmed by the prevalence of sex at the expense of “relationships”, that is “the focus on the physical aspects of reproduction and the lack of any meaningful discussion about feelings, relationships and values”13. The 2000 Guidance was thus designed to “redress that balance”14. In 2017 and 2018, the Department for Education (DfE) carried out consultation with “parents and carers, school and college staff (including governors), voluntary and community organisations, other educational professionals, any other interested organisations and individuals”15. In February 2019 the DfE issued the Draft statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers on Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education. It applies to as many schools as possible since academies, free and independent schools are concerned, together with maintained schools16.

  • 17 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-2.
  • 18 DfE, March 2019.

6The February 2019 DfE guidance defines the contents of Relationships Education by listing the items “pupils should know” “by the end of primary school” regarding five key themes: “Families and people who care for me”, “Caring friendships”, “Respectful relationships”, “Online relationships”, “Being safe”17. At primary school level, “sex education (which goes beyond the existing national curriculum for science)” is not required, although some schools may choose to teach it18.

  • 19 DfE, February 2019, p. 19.
  • 20 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-1.

7Before considering the No Outsiders project, the place of LGBT issues in the new subject must be raised, more specifically teaching about gay rights and tolerance for various sexual orientations. As legislation has come to include same-sex relationships through the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, this place has gradually grown. While the 2000 Sex and Relationship Education Guidance issued by the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) steered clear of the question, the 2019 DfE’s Draft statutory guidance clearly refers to it: “Families of many forms provide a nurturing environment for children. (Families can include for example, single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures.)”19. It furthermore states that “by the end of primary school: pupils should know” “that others’ families either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.”20

  • 21 DfE, February 2019, p. 15.

8The Equality Act 2010 underpins the subject of RE as is highlighted by the DfE’s 2019 Draft statutory guidance: “In teaching Relationships Education and RSE, schools should ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. Schools must ensure that they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010”.21 The latter was passed in April 2010, that is shortly before the general election of May 2010 which ended Labour’s long spell in office. The 2010 Act lists “protected” “characteristics” in section 4, namely “age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.”

  • 22 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.
  • 23 DfE, March 2017, p. 4.
  • 24 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.
  • 25 DfE, March 2019, p. 1.
  • 26 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.

9Finally, regarding RE, several factors have to be considered, the first being age. Indeed, teaching should be “age-appropriate” as stated by the Department for Education (DfE) on its website in March 201922. Unlike what prevailed until then for sex education, parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from Relationships Education. The DfE made it clear in a statement in March 2017 that the situation was about to change to comply with “English caselaw”23. This was reiterated on the DfE’s website in 2019: “There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education at primary or secondary as we believe the contents of these subjects – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught.”24 Yet, parents are not to be left out of school plans on RE: “Schools will be required to consult with parents when developing and reviewing their policies for Relationships Education and RSE. These policies must be published online, and must be available to any individual free of charge.”25 Religion is also part of RE. The DfE in its FAQs page on Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education insists it has “worked with a number of faith organisations” and highlights its place in the teaching of RE: “the religious background of pupils must be taken into account when planning teaching.”26

No Outsiders Project

  • 27 Allan, A., Atkinson, E., Braceb, E., DePalma, R., Hemingway, J, 2008, p. 315.
  • 28 Allan, A., Atkinson, E., Braceb, E., DePalma, R., Hemingway, J, 2008, p. 315.

10The No Outsiders project we now focus on has been firmly set at primary-school level but it has its origins in research launched by three universities in 2006 (Sunderland, Exeter and London with the Institute of Education) and backed by funding from the Economic and Social Research Council. Until 2008, 9 academics and 15 “teacher-researchers” “explor[ed] ways of addressing LGBT equality in the context of English primary schools”27 with “teacher-researchers generating strategies in their own practice context, with the support of university-based research assistants” and strategies then being “shared with the wider research team.”28

  • 29 DePalma, R., 2016, p. 831.
  • 30 Ch7, pp. 95-110.
  • 31 Moffat, A., 14 May 2018.

11All primary-school teachers involved had access to “a resource pack that included 27 children’s books exploring themes of gender and sexuality diversity either directly or indirectly”29. Andrew Moffat took part in the original project as a “teacher-researcher” and he wrote a chapter with Elizabeth Atkinson on “Bodies and minds: Essentialism, activism and strategic disruptions in the primary school and beyond”30 in Interrogating Heteronormativity in Primary Schools edited by Renée De Palma and Elizabeth Atkinson in 2009. In a 2018 interview, Andrew Moffat states his own project started in 2014 when he “asked the original team members if they would give me their blessing to use the name for my new scheme of work, with the understanding that I would widen the focus from just LGBT equality to all equalities and link to the Equality Act 2010”31.

  • 32 Lightfoot, L., 2016.
  • 33 Moffat, A., 2012.

12Andrew Moffat’s objectives lie in his own life and sexual orientation but also in his emphasis on tolerance in general. Early in 2014, he resigned from Chilworth Croft Academy in Birmingham because of several complaints by parents after he had come out as gay to pupils. As he puts it in a 2016 interview with The Guardian, “I was determined to make LGBT equality a reality in any community. I could not afford to get it wrong a second time…. It’s the UK law. We cannot promote an ethos that welcomes people of different faiths but not those of diverse sexual orientation.”32 This includes tackling homophobic bullying in education and he worked with Birmingham City Council on Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools, An Early Years Resource published in 2012 by Birmingham's Bullying Reduction Action Group33 (BRAG).

  • 34 Lightfoot, L., 2016.
  • 35 Moffat, A., 2018, p. 2.

13But it also attempts to “reduce the potential for radicalisation of young people”34. In his 2018 work Reclaiming Radical Ideas in Schools: Preparing Young Children for Life in Modern Britain, Andrew Moffat underlines the fact that this aim has been made more and more necessary by international events: “I have been developing the resource with a specific aim to prevent young people from being drawn in to terrorism, rather than as a resource simply to promote equality and diversity”35.

  • 36 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 2; Equality Act 2010, section 4.
  • 37 Moffat, A., 2016.

14From the original 2006-8 project, Andrew Moffat has retained the idea of using textbooks to “teach the [2010] Equality Act in Primary Schools”: “equality is best taught in the context of British law, where all protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010 are included in a curriculum that celebrates difference.”36 Moffat uses 35 textbooks and bases his lesson plans on them. The themes which are tackled comprise self-expression or self-assertion (5), accepting differences (7), life cycles (2), disability (3), cooperation to overcome language barriers (3), accepting strangers (2), learning from the past (2), empathy (1), discrimination and racism (3), human rights (1), LGBT issues (6)37.

  • 38 Parr, T., 2010.
  • 39 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50.
  • 40 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 4-5.
  • 41 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 6-7.
  • 42 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 8-9.
  • 43 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 18-9.
  • 44 Parr, T., 2010, p. 32.
  • 45 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50
  • 46 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50.
  • 47 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50.

15Here are two examples with first a lesson plan for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) with pupils aged 3 to 5 and based on The Family Book by Todd Parr38. This is the first time LGBT issues appear at this stage. The “learning intention” is “to understand that all families are different”39. As written in the book, “some families” are “big”, some are “small”40, some are “the same colour”, some are “different colours”41 but “all families like to hug each other”42. “Some families” “have two mums or two dads”, some “one parent instead of two”43. The conclusion of the book is inclusive: “There are lots of ways to be a family. Your family is special, no matter what kind it is. Love, Todd.”44 Before reading the story, Moffat suggests the teacher should ask children, “What is a family?”45. Role play can follow the story by showing a doll who “needs a family”46. Children can also draw their families (Activity). Finally, a plenary may be based on the following questions: “What different families do we have? […] What have we learnt today? All families are different and that’s OK.”47

  • 48 Greder, A., 2007.
  • 49 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.
  • 50 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.
  • 51 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.
  • 52 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.

16The other example is a year-6 lesson plan for pupils aged 11 with The Island by Armin Greder48. A stranger is washed ashore on an island. Although the fisherman who had found him warns that expelling him may lead to his death, the whole community turns against the man and rejects him. The villagers also turn against the fisherman and build a wall around the island. The “Learning Intention” is “to challenge the causes of racism”49. Students should first be asked to define racism (Starter). After the story, children can play the roles of the fisherman and of the villagers (role play) and consider whether the arguments used in the book by villagers can convince the former (and vice versa). Pupils may “draw a cartoon strip telling the story of The Island” (Activity50). The success criteria are the following: “I know what prejudice is and I know what can happen if racism is not challenged and I know ways to challenge racism.”51. Finally (Plenary), the teacher may ask questions like the following: “Will the wall help or hinder the people to overcome racism? Have you heard any racist comments in our school? How can you respond if you hear comments based on prejudice? What does our school say about racist behaviour?”52

  • 53 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-2.
  • 54 DfE, February 2019, pp. 21-2.
  • 55 DfE, February 2019, p. 21.

17Such a project must be contrasted with the contents of Relationships Education as defined by the DfE in its 2019 statutory guidance. They comprise five key themes: “Families and people who care for me”, “Caring friendships”, “Respectful relationships”, “Online relationships”, “Being safe”53. Three themes are not covered by No Outsiders, they are “Online Relationships”, “Being Safe” and “Caring Friendships” (the project does not clearly define friendship and the implications of “caring”). The “Respectful relationships” theme is partly covered as 4 out of its 8 items are part of the project: “the importance of respecting others”; “the conventions of courtesy and manners”; “they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others”; “what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive”54. The “Families and people who care for me” theme is addressed by the project which tackles all items but one (“how to recognise if family relationships are making them feel unhappy or unsafe, and how to seek help or advice from others if needed”55). In short, No Outsiders covers less than half of the contents of RE and as such can only be used together with other resources.

  • 56 Moffat, A., Pulley, H., 2017.
  • 57 Moffat, A., Pulley, H., 2017.
  • 58 Moffat, A., Pulley, H., 2017.
  • 59 Ofsted, 2016.
  • 60 Lightfoot, L., 2016.
  • 61 Moffat, A., 2018, p. 18.

18According to Andrew Moffat, the very first meetings to present No Outsiders to parents at Parkfield Community School took place in March 201556. The scheme was then introduced and he came out in December 2015 without a “parent backlash”57. Moffat describes Parkfield Community School thus: “749 children; 98.9% Islamic faith; Geographically in centre of Trojan Horse accusations; 27 ethnicities”58. The school was declared “outstanding” by Ofsted in May 201659. The same year, Liz Lightfoot from The Guardian thus summarised what could then be called a successful project: “A gay teacher teaching gay rights to pupils from a faith that believes homosexuality is a sin, punishable by death in some countries? It doesn’t seem possible and yet the school’s Muslim parents appear to have accepted that children can be taught about Britain’s anti-discrimination laws without undermining their religious beliefs”60. Andrew Moffat in his second book published in 2018 is just as optimistic: “parents know about the ethos and accept it, or at least accept that it is taught in the school.”61

Opposition to No Outsiders and RSE

  • 62 Ofsted, 2019, p. 1.

19And yet, in January 2019, protests hit the headlines of national papers and the school has since had to face opposition to the project. Before analysing the arguments of these protesters, a quick reminder of the events is necessary, all the more so as other schools were also affected. In January 2019, a petition against No Outsiders was initiated. The direct involvement of parents prompted a visit by Ofsted inspectors in February 2019 and their conclusions released in March corroborated the 2016 Ofsted report and ‘outstanding’ assessment label: “I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to confirm the inspection findings.”62

  • 63 Parveen, N., 4 March 2019.
  • 64 Parveen, N., 3 July 2019.
  • 65 DfE, October 2019.

20However, after 600 children (according to protesters) were kept out of school on 1 March, the No Outsiders project was suspended63. In July 2019, Parkfield School decided to introduce “a modified version of the scheme ‘No outsiders for a faith community’” in September64. In October 2019, the DfE issued its Guidance on Primary school disruption over LGBT teaching/relationships education. It offers a clear definition of “active disruption of the [school] activities” (for instance “loud protests during school hours”, “public victimisation of teachers, parents or children in relation to this topic, such as through social media, WhatsApp groups or in-person harassment”) and lists the “possible legal response” to such “disruption” like “applying for an injunction” or “making a Public Space Protection Order under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014”65.

  • 66 Parveen, N., 26 November 2019.

21The protagonists in the opposition movement against the No Outsiders project outside Parkfield Community School are Mariam Ahmed who initiated a petition in January 2019 and Mohammed Aslam, the spokesman for the Parkfield Parents Community Group. The Parkfield Parents Community Group has been active on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Amir Ahmed appeared daily in front of the school. He also took part in the demonstrations outside Anderton Park Primary School and this is why he, Shakeel Afsar and Rosina Afsar were targeted by a judgement in November 2019. A High Court judge ruled “a protest exclusion zone would permanently remain outside the school and protesters would no longer be able to use any amplification devices. He also ordered the protesters to pay 80% of the court costs”66.

  • 67 Rocker, S., 2019.
  • 68 Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, 2018.
  • 69 Conway, S., 2019.
  • 70 Armstrong, P. S., 2019.
  • 71 Armstrong, P. S., 2019.

22However, such activism cannot be considered in a vacuum as these protesters have been supported by several organisations. Although the latter are mostly religious groups with conservative views, not all religious lobbies have rejected RE or teaching about different families, provided parents are consulted and faith is taken into account. In February 2019, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis stated there is “‘no contradiction’ between new sex education policy and Torah values”67; in 2018 he had published The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils, A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Schools68. The Church of England (CoE) in April 2019 expressed the “hope parents won't withdraw their kids from the new RSE”69. On 1 May 2019, the Association of British Muslims posted an article on No Outsiders. Paul Salahuddin Armstrong interviewed Andrew Moffat, went through the project’s textbooks and could not find “offensive or age inappropriate material”70. He played down the number of books referring to LGBT issues and praised the project: “What I discovered, is the focus of the No Outsiders programme is on being respectful and inclusive towards everyone, which far from being something unislamic that Muslims should be avoiding, is in fact at the heart of Islam’s teachings.”71

  • 72 Islam21C, “About Us”.
  • 73 Bodi, F., 2019.
  • 74 SREIslamic, “About Us”.
  • 75 SREIslamic, “About Us”.

23The following groups have not only rejected No Outsiders and supported protesters outside Parkfield Community School, they have also been the most vocal in their opposition to RE more generally. Among Muslim organisations, one is closely linked to the Parkfield Parents’ Community Group as it posted a statement by the Group on its website on 7 February 2019. The Islam21C website “strives to articulate orthodox Islam in a modern context”72. The Islamic Human Rights Commission, a British charity, also made clear in March 2019 that No Outsiders is unacceptable and described it as “the insidious agenda to foist LGBT on our children”73. The SREIslamic website was started by Yusuf Patel in October 2008 “in response to the government’s intention to make Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) statutory in schools”74. It submitted oral and written evidence to the House of Commons Select Education Committee in its inquiry into SRE in 2014-5 and has “run hundreds of seminars and workshops and supported thousands of parents concerned with how SRE is taught in schools”75.

  • 76 Anglican Mainstream, “Editorial Policy”.
  • 77 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, “ALERT! - RSE IS COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU!”.
  • 78 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, “ALERT! - RSE IS COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU!”.
  • 79 Support 4 the Family, “About Us”.
  • 80 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 13 September 2019.
  • 81 ParentPower, 18 April 2018.
  • 82 Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK), “About the Ministry”.
  • 83 Christian Education Europe, “Educating for Eternity”.
  • 84 ParentPower, “About Us”.
  • 85 ParentPower, October 2019.
  • 86 ParentPower, “About Us”.

24An Anglican group called Anglican Mainstream which puts forward “the vision for biblically faithful Christian faith in the Anglican Communion”76 has initiated the RSE SchoolGate Campaign and the front page of its website could not be clearer: “ALERT! - RSE IS COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU!”77 It argues that “leafleting” at school gates can make a difference as this “can inform hundreds of families and direct them to organisations that will give them help and support”78. The campaign is also endorsed by several groups such as the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) or Support 4 the Family which was founded by “members of UKIP concerned about restoration of the family as the fundamental unit of society”79. “Guidelines for Distributors” of leaflets of the RSE SchoolGate campaign are to be found on the website of Support 4 the Family80. Another Christian organisation close to the RSE SchoolGate Campaign is ParentPower created in April 2018. This “is the result of a coalition between various campaigning groups, including Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK), SPUC, Christian Concern, and Christian Education Europe.”81 Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK) “stand[s] on the rights to freedom of speech, and to practise freely and without restraint the Christian faith, as enshrined in the Bible”82; Christian Concern is a British evangelical organisation and Christian Education Europe makes it its duty to “supply a Christ-centred curriculum, which teaches children from a Biblical worldview”83. ParentPower is “currently concerned by particular forms of RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) being implemented in schools, which under Government policy are in the process of being made mandatory”84. The website is designed to help parents, to give them information about their “civil rights”85 and “to provide a Forum to enable parents to share their experiences and discuss them with other parents and educators”86.

  • 87 Values Foundation, 29 March 2019.
  • 88 Values Foundation, February 2019.
  • 89 Rocker, S., 26 March 2019.
  • 90 Values Foundation, February 2019.

25The last strand of religious opposition to RE is to be found with different religious activists allying like in the Values Foundation which “was formed in August 2018 with a mandate to represent faith and traditional family values in the educational sector”87. In February 2019, its “Open Letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds”, posted on the group’s website, was signed among others by Dr A Majid Katme, Psychiatrist and Ex-President of the Islamic Medical Association UK88; Judith Nemeth who “formerly headed the National Association of Orthodox Jewish Schools”89; Mr Yusuf Patel, Founder of SREIslamic; Chris Fry, Member of the Church of England General Synod and Revd Lynda Rose, Anglican priest and CEO of Voice for Justice UK90.

  • 91 “Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, 2019.
  • 92 Kotecha, S., 7 February 2019, the lady’s daughter is about 7.
  • 93 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.

26Protesters around Parkfield Community School and their supporters have used five key arguments. The first lies in the supposed innocence of children as could be read on a placard outside the school: “Let kids be kids”91. As a mother put it, “If it was in secondary school then fine, but my daughter is in Year 3. I just don't agree with it at all.”92. Ofsted, in its visit at Parkfield School in February 2019, assessed the teaching of No Outsiders to ensure it was “age-appropriate”93:

  • 94 Ofsted, 2019, p. 3.

a very small, but vocal, minority of parents are not clear about the school’s vision, policies and practice. […] Their view is that the PSHE education and equalities curriculum focuses disproportionately on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues and that this work is not taught in an age-appropriate manner. Inspectors found no evidence that this is the case.94

  • 95 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.
  • 96 “Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, 2019.
  • 97 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.
  • 98 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.
  • 99 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.
  • 100 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.
  • 101 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.

27Opponents of No Outsiders consider that the very fact of referring to same-sex relationships is necessarily sexual. In the words of ParentPower for instance, “by definition […] ‘same-sex’ relations are about ‘sex’. Quite simply, the word declares it.”95 Therefore, teaching about same-sex families entails “sexualising” children as a placard outside Parkfield School has it: “Say no to the sexualisation of children”96. Such “sexualisation” “potentially perverts the course of natural child development” since friendship between two girls or two boys at an early age may be wrongly interpreted as being gay, warns the leaflet issued by the RSE SchoolGate Campaign and entitled Protecting your child from confusion & sexualisation in RSE lessons97. The other risk lies in the subject’s very contents as it mentions “masturbation”, “sexual intercourse” and “anal intercourse”, the same leaflet claims98. Theory and practice cannot but be linked and “[the] first sexual intercourse will be encouraged from the age of 13 – which is illegal”99. This will have “the effect of grooming [children]”100. British society has already been struggling with “the highest number of teenage pregnancies in Europe”’, “sexually transmitted infections in UK teenagers at epidemic levels (many incurable)” and “an alarming increase in child-on-child sexual assaults” but RSE could make the situation much worse.101

  • 102 Parkfield Parents’ Community Group, 2019.
  • 103 Kotecha, S., 19 March 2019.

28The second argument used by protesters outside Parkfield School states that their opposition to the project lies in their faith, which does not mean that they are homophobic. The statement posted on the Islam21c website by the Parkfield Parents’ Community Group on 7 February 2019 makes it clear: “We do not endorse any kind of homophobia or transphobia or discrimination. This is against our values and the law.”102 Campaigner Amir Ahmed thus sums up the two points: “Fundamentally the issue we have with No Outsiders is that it is changing our children's moral position on family values on sexuality and we are a traditional community. Morally we do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have. It's not about being homophobic... that's like saying, if you don't believe in Islam, you're Islamophobic.”103

  • 104 “Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, 2019.
  • 105 Parkfield Parents’ Community Group, 2019.
  • 106 ParentPower, “About Us”.

29The third argument protesters against No Outsiders have put forward is based on parental rights like in placards outside Parkfield school: “My child my choice”, “No to undermining parental rights and authority”104. The Parkfield Parents’ Community Group in its statement posted on 7 February 2019 on the Islam21c website shows how essential this is: “The policy of the school is disproportionate, morally unacceptable and violates the democratic rights of parents to have children educated in consistency with their own beliefs and philosophical convictions.”105 This principle is crucial for ParentPower and the coalition refers to the Human Rights Act 1998 before even presenting itself on its website: “The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 state: In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.”106

  • 107 Parkfield Parents’ Community Group, 2019.

30The fourth argument used by opponents of No Outsiders is that they are treated unfairly under the 2010 Equality Act which defines 7 “protected characteristics”: “age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation” (section 4). Advocates of gay rights are considered by protesters as taking advantage of the 2010 Equality Act and, by undermining parents’ religious beliefs, as violating the Act itself: “We have no objection to the promotion of respectful treatment of all people and the protected characteristics (Equality Act 2010) – this is not what the ‘no outsiders’ program is focussed on. […] Just as sexual orientation is a protected characteristic, religion is also a protected characteristic.”107

  • 108 Bodi, F., 2019.
  • 109 Paton, D., 2019.

31The last argument protesters outside Parkfield School and their supporters use is that teaching about same-sex relationships or more generally LGBT issues stems from a foreign “agenda” driven by an “LGBT lobby” and imposed by the British government which pretends it tries to tackle extremism108. RE is also promoted by “the sex education industry, represented by groups like the Family Planning Association, the sexual health charity Brook and the Sex Education Forum”, David Paton argues in an article published in the Catholic Herald on 19 September 2019109.

  • 110 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.

32Such a rationale is put forward by Muslims and Christians alike who feel they are under attack and yet represent the majority of the population: “the percentage of the population, however, that professes Abrahamic faiths – again statistics from the ONS – are 64.5% at the last census.”110 The idea of a movement originating outside “our” frame of reference is also to found in an article published by a British Shia magazine, Islam Today, on 17 May 2019:

  • 111 Godfrey-Faussett, K., 2019.

there is a western initiative, that is already well underway, to introduce a comprehensive sexuality educational curriculum into all schools worldwide. As individuals and as a community, we must address the issue of sex education head on and discuss related topics with our children from an Islamic perspective that emphasises the importance of marriage, chastity and modesty.111

33The attitude of the government is presented as everything but neutral and war has been declared:

  • 112 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.

The effect is most stark in the Department of Education itself which has declared its partiality in its hanging of the gay rights “Pride” flag in its buildings, and its inclusion as a signature on emails from the Department. […] It is no exaggeration to say that the Pride emblem is now being perceived, felt and termed a “spiritual swastika”, because of the sheer intolerance shown by those who fly it towards any view that does align to that of their own.112

  • 113 Bodi, F., 2019.

34Muslims in particular feel they bear the brunt of such a phenomenon as they have faced government initiatives to counter Islamic radicalisation: “With the introduction of an aggressive social engineering programme epitomised by the Prevent anti-extremism strategy and the so-called Trojan Horse affair, the state has made clear its intention to drag Muslims, kicking and screaming if necessary, down the road of secular liberalism.”113

Significance of No Outsiders and of the Opposition to it

  • 114 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-1.
  • 115 DfE, March 2019, pp. 1-2.
  • 116 Roberts, J., 2019.
  • 117 George, M., 28 June 2019; George, M., Speck, D., 2019.

35The No Outsiders project and the opposition it has faced have raised serious issues, be they educational, social or legal. The first issue lies in the contents of RE as a subject in primary schools. It is underpinned by the attitude of the government towards teaching about same-sex relationships at that level. The February 2019 Draft statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers on Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education makes it clear that “by the end of primary school: pupils should know” “that others’ families […] sometimes look different from their family, but that they […] are also characterised by love and care.”114 However, the FAQs: Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education posted on the DfE’s website in March 2019 seems to convey a different message: “We expect secondary schools to include LGBT content and whilst there is no specific requirement to teach about LGBT in primary schools, they can cover LGBT content if they consider it age appropriate to do so. This would be delivered, for example, through teaching about different types of family, including those with same sex parents.”115 During the 2019 conference of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), this disparity was highlighted by Ms Hewitt-Clarkson, the head of Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham which was also targeted by protesters rejecting the No Outsiders programme: “This is not the first time that the government appears to have passed the buck on making a final decision in this contentious area of the curriculum.”116 In June and July 2019, the head of Ofsted and the CEO of Excelsior Multi-Academy Trust managing Parkfield Community School respectively called for greater clarity from the government. In the words of Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, “I think the new RSE guidance is definitely several steps in the right direction but clearly it still leaves a great deal open for schools to decide how much to do and when, and my view is that more specificity would undoubtedly be helpful for schools.”117

  • 118 tes reporter, 2019.
  • 119 DfE, Parental Engagement on Relationships Education, October 2019, p. 2.
  • 120 DfE, Parental Engagement on Relationships Education, October 2019, p. 2.

36In July 2019, Boris Johnson became Prime Minister and he appointed Gavin Williamson to succeed Damian Hinds as Secretary of State for Education. Gavin Williamson has not made his position clearer. In August 2019, he stated that “we wanted to make sure every single school is able to teach about Britain as it is today – but also have the flexibility to ensure that it has an understanding of the communities which it operates in.”118 In October 2019, the DfE issued new guidance on Parental Engagement on Relationships Education which defines “what is expected of [schools] in terms of parental engagement”119. But here again the government kicked the issue into the long grass by letting schools have their say: “Schools ultimately make the final decisions and engagement does not amount to a parental veto. The Department for Education will back schools that, having engaged with parents and carefully considered their views, take reasonable decisions about their Relationships Education policy.”120

  • 121 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.
  • 122 DfE, February 2019, p. 15.
  • 123 Downie, M., 2019, p. 5.
  • 124 Downie, M., 2019, p. 20.

37Beyond the approach of the government to teaching about LGBT issues in primary schools, the issue of religion is clearly raised. As the DfE in its FAQs page on Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education points out that religious beliefs are to “be taken into account” when schools devise their RSE policies121, the 2010 Equality Act which underpins RSE in the DfE’s 2019 Draft statutory guidance122 must be analysed. As we have already pointed out, the 2010 Act defines “protected” “characteristics” in section 4, namely “age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.” It also delineates direct and indirect discrimination in respectively sections 13 and 19. It consolidates and updates previous acts to establish a broader basis of anti-discrimination legislation. Yet, this attempt to protect all defined “characteristics” equally falls short if we consider pay gap cases related to gender in particular, as Margaret Downie shows clearly in an article published in The International Journal of Discrimination and the Law123. Legal action in terms of pay gap calls for the use of different clauses in the Act over gender discrimination and over discrimination regarding other characteristics and this makes gender cases easier to pursue and more likely to be successful: “The current separate scheme results in an anti-discrimination law which causes inequality between the protected characteristics.”124

  • 125 DfE, 2014, p. 3.
  • 126 Vanderbeck, R. M., Johnson, P., 2016, p. 17.
  • 127 Horrocks, D., 2014.
  • 128 Vanderbeck, R. M., Johnson, P., 2016, p. 23.
  • 129 Severs, G., 2019.

38Tensions in the 2010 Act between “protected characteristics” such as “sexual orientation” and “religion or belief” cannot be attributed to the rise of Relationships Education as a statutory subject in the national curriculum as they were already perceptible in 2014 when the DfE asked all schools to teach British values125. This proved problematic for some faith schools which were “downgraded after Ofsted inspections”126. The Evangelical Alliance wrote to the Secretary of State for Education, arguing that “‘true British values’ certainly cannot be reduced to those represented by a secularist politically correct equality agenda, and the enforcement of such agenda on all schools is the wrong response to the challenges presented by parts of the Birmingham education system.”127 As Robert M. Vanderbeck and Paul Johnson point out in a 2016 article, “this raises challenging questions regarding whether the practice of a faith school advocating heterosexual marriage as the only morally sanctioned form of sexual expression could ever be said to fully comply with requirements to promote respect and toleration for non-heterosexual people.”128 The very question was analysed by George Severs in April 2019 following the demonstrations outside Parkfield Community School among others and to him “part of the problem is that so little has been written about the potential conflict between the protected characteristics of the Equality Act.”129 If parents initiate legal proceedings, case law may tell us more about the 2010 Equality Act, its interpretation and application.

Conclusion

39Under the Children and Social Work Act 2017, Relationships Education (RE) has been a statutory subject in English primary schools since September 2020. Parkfield Community School in Birmingham had anticipated it by adopting the No Outsiders project initiated by head teacher Andrew Moffat. It conveys a message of tolerance and heavily relies on the Equality Act 2010 like government guidance on RE. The project’s reference to same-sex relationships and other LGBT issues was rejected by some parents in 2019 and their daily protests made the school drop the project for a few months. They and their supporters oppose what they describe as the “sexualisation” of children, arguing that their faith does not make them homophobic and is undermined as a “characteristic” defined by the 2010 Equality Act. They also highlight their right as parents to reject what they feel is imposed by a hypocritical government. The latter has so far failed to send clear signals on the teaching of same-sex relationships in primary schools and on the issue of parental rights. Although No Outsiders does not completely cover RE, such reactions show the subject has put the 2010 Act to the test with some parents and a host of religious groups who consider their faith is as valid a “protected characteristic” as “sexual orientation” or “gender reassignment”. Courts may thus settle these issues pertaining to the Equality Act 2010.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Allan, A., Atkinson, E., Braceb, E., DePalma, R., Hemingway, J., “Speaking the unspeakable in forbidden places: addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the primary school”, Sex Education, Vol. 8, No. 3, August 2008, pp. 315–328.

Anglican Mainstream, “Editorial Policy”, <https://anglicanmainstream.org/editorial-policy/>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

Atkinson, E., Moffat, A., “Bodies and minds: Essentialism, activism and strategic disruptions in the primary school and beyond”, in De Palma, R., Atkinson, R. (eds.), Interrogating Heteronormativity in Primary Schools, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham, 2009, pp. 95-110.

BBC News Online, “Parents protest over Birmingham school's LGBT equality teaching”, 29 January 2019, <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-47040451>, retrieved on 10 January 2020.

“Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, Panorama, BBC TV, 15 July 2019.

Bodi, F., “Exposed and explained: The insidious agenda to foist LGBT on our children”, Islamic Human Rights Commission, 29 March 2019, <https://www.ihrc.org.uk/publications/the-long-view/tlv-vol1-issue1/21660-exposed-and-explained-the-insidious-agenda-to-foist-lgbt-on-our-children/>, retrieved on 25 January 2020.

Carmichael, N., Cooper, Y., Miller, M., Wollaston, S., Wright, I., Letter to Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, 29 November 2016, <https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/documents/commons-committees/Education/Correspondence/Chairs-letter-to-Secretary-of-State-re-PSHE-status-29-11-2016.PDF>, retrieved on 22 November 2019.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils, A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Schools, Office of the Chief Rabbi, September 2018, <https://chiefrabbi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/The-Wellbeing-of-LGBT-Pupils-A-Guide-for-Orthodox-Jewish-Schools.pdf >, retrieved on 18 January 2020.

Christian Education Europe, “Educating for Eternity”, <https://www.christian.education>, retrieved on 10 January 2020.

Conway, S., Bishop of Ely, “CofE: We hope parents won't withdraw their kids from the new RSE”, tes, 23 April 2019.

DePalma, R., “Gay penguins, sissy ducklings ... and beyond? Exploring gender and sexuality diversity through children’s literature”, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, vol. 37, n° 6, 2016, pp.828–845.

Department for Education (DfE), Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools, Departmental advice for maintained schools, November 2014, <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/380595/SMSC_Guidance_Maintained_Schools.pdf>, retrieved on 15 November 2019.

Department for Education (DfE), Policy Statement: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education, March 2017, <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/595828/170301_Policy_statement_PSHEv2.pdf >, retrieved on 18 December 2019.

Department for Education (DfE), Changes to the teaching of Sex and Relationship Education and PSHE, A call for evidence, December 2017, <https://consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rse-call-for-evidence/supporting_documents/Sex%20and%20Relationships%20Education%20%20A%20call%20for%20evidence.pdf>, retrieved on 15 November 2019.

Department for Education (DfE), Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education, Draft statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams, teachers, February 2019, <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/781150/Draft_guidance_Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education2.pdf>, retrieved on 6 December 2019.

Department for Education (DfE), FAQs: Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education, March 2019, <https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/supporting_documents/RSEPSHEFAQs.pdf >, retrieved on 10 January 2020.

Department for Education (DfE), Guidance on Primary school disruption over LGBT teaching/relationships education, October 2019, <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/managing-issues-with-lgbt-teaching-advice-for-local-authorities/primary-school-disruption-over-lgbt-teachingrelationships-education>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

Department for Education (DfE), Parental Engagement on Relationships Education, October 2019, <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/836503/6.5987_DfE_Consult-Paper_Relationships-Parental_A4-P_Op4_v7_weba.pdf>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

Department for Education and Employment (DfEE), Sex and Relationship Education Guidance, 2000, <http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/dfee/2000-sex-education.pdf>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

Downie, M., “Preferential pay protection: Does UK law provide poorer protection to those discriminated against on grounds of protected characteristics other than gender?”, The International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, Vol. 19(1), 2019, pp. 4–25.

Equality Act 2010, Explanatory Notes, April 2010.

George, M., “Clearer LGBT guidance needed, says Spielman”, tes, 28 June 2019.

George, M., Speck, D., “Parkfield: LGBT 'not the place' for school autonomy”, tes, 16 July 2019.

Goddard, G., Smith, V., Boycott, C., PSHE in the Primary School: Principles and Practice, Harlow: Pearson, 2013.

Godfrey-Faussett, K., “Relationship & Sex Education … coming soon to a school near you”, Islam Today, 17 May 2019, <http://islam-today.co.uk/relationship-sex-education-coming-soon-to-a-school-near-you>, retrieved on 18 December 2019.

Greder, A., The Island, Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2007.

Horrocks, D., “Schools and British values”, Evangelical Alliance, 18 December 2014, <http://www.eauk.org/current-affairs/politics/schools-and-british-values.cfm>, retrieved on 23 January 2020.

House of Commons Select Education Committee, Life lessons: PSHE and SRE in schools, London: Stationery Office, 2015.

Islam21C, “About Us”, <https://www.islam21c.com/about-us/>retrieved on 15 December 2019.

Kotecha, S., BBC News Online, “Assistant head 'threatened' in LGBT teaching row”, 7 February 2019, <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-47158357>, retrieved on 25 November 2019.

Kotecha, S., BBC News Online, “LGBT lessons row: More Birmingham schools stop classes”, 19 March 2019, <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-47613578>, retrieved on 25 November 2019.

Lightfoot, L., “‘We respect Islam and gay people’ … The gay teacher transforming a Muslim school”, The Guardian, 15 February 2016.

Long, R., Relationships and Sex Education in Schools (England), Commons Briefing Paper Number 06103, 11 July 2019, <https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn06103/>, retrieved on 15 October 2019.

The London Gazette, N°61962, Supplement n°1, 17 June 2017, <https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/61962/data.pdf>.

Macdonald, A., Independent Review of the Proposal to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education Statutory, London: The Stationery Office, 2009.

Moffat, A., Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools, An Early Years Resource, Birmingham's Bullying Reduction Action Group (BRAG), Birmingham City Council, 2012, <www.solgrid.org.uk/wellbeing/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2014/11/Andy-Moffat-resource1.pdf>, retrieved on 8 January 2020.

Moffat, A., No Outsiders in Our School: Teaching the Equality Act in Primary Schools, Abingdon: Routledge, 2016.

Moffat, A., Pulley, H., No Outsiders In Our School: Community Cohesion in the Curriculum, 2017, <www.insidegovernment.co.uk/uploads/2017/10/Hazel-Pulley.pdf>, retrieved on 5 January 2020.

Moffat, A., Interview, “No outsiders in your school”, 14 May 2018, <www.innovatemyschool.com/ideas/no-outsiders-in-your-school-interview>, retrieved on 5 January 2020.

Moffat, A., Reclaiming Radical Ideas in Schools: Preparing Young Children for Life in Modern Britain, Abingdon: Routledge, 2018.

Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education), Not yet good enough: personal, social, health and economic education in schools, 2013, <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/413178/Not_yet_good_enough_personal__social__health_and_economic_education_in_schools.pdf>, retrieved on 15 October 2019.

Ofsted, Report on Parkfield Community School, May 2016, <http://fluencycontent2-schoolwebsite.netdna-ssl.com/FileCluster/ParkfieldPrimary/MainFolder/Ofsted-Report-2016.pdf >, retrieved on 15 October 2019.

Ofsted, Letter by HMI Peter Humphries to Parkfield Community School head Mr David Williams, 5 March 2019, <http://fluencycontent2-schoolwebsite.netdna-ssl.com/FileCluster/ParkfieldPrimary/MainFolder/about-the-school/ofsted-report/Oftsed-letter.pdf>, retrieved on 20 December 2019.

ParentPower, “Parent Power Launched in Parliament!”, 18 April 2018, <https://vfjuk.org.uk/parent-power-launched-in-parliament/>, retrieved on 6 January 2020.

ParentPower, “No Outsiders – Unless You Believe in God, 9 May 2019, <https://parentpower.family/no-outsiders/>, retrieved on 18 December 2019.

ParentPower, “THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF RSE: Advice for parents on Relationships & Sex Education (RSE)”, October 2019, <https://parentpower.family/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/CIVIL-RIGHTS-OF-RSE-PP.pdf >, retrieved on 18 January 2020.

ParentPower, “About Us”, <https://parentpower.family/about-us/>, retrieved on 18 December 2019.

Parkfield Parents’ Community Group, “No to Proselytising and discrimination – Abolish ‘No outsiders’ program in Parkfield school”, 7 February 2019, <www.islam21c.com/politics/stop-proselytising-lgbt-ideology-to-pupils-demand-parents/>, retrieved on 15 November 2019.

Parr, T., The Family Book, New York: Little, 2010.

Parveen, N., “Birmingham school stops LGBT lessons after parents protest”, The Guardian, 4 March 2019.

Parveen, N., “Birmingham primary school to resume modified LGBT lessons”, The Guardian, 3 July 2019.

Parveen, N., “Birmingham anti-LGBT school protesters had 'misinterpreted' teachings, judge says”, The Guardian, 26 November 2019.

Paton, D., “Why is the Church not standing up for parental rights?”, Catholic Herald, 19 September 2019, <https://catholicherald.co.uk/why-is-the-church-not-standing-up-for-parental-rights/>, retrieved on 20 January 2020.

PSHE Association, “The long road to statutory PSHE education (almost!)”, 17 December 2019, <www.pshe-association.org.uk/long-road-statutory-pshe-education-almost>, retrieved on 25 January 2020.

Roberts, J., “Why ministers are letting schools down over LGBT protests”, tes, 28 May 2019.

Rocker, S., “Chief Rabbi says ‘no contradiction’ between new sex education policy and Torah values”, Jewish Chronicle, 26 February 2019, <www.thejc.com/education/education-news/chief-rabbi-says-no-contradiction-between-new-sex-education-policy-and-torah-values-1.480688>, retrieved on 1 December 2019.

Rocker, S., “New campaign launch to defend ‘traditional family groups’ against Government’s sex education curriculum”, Jewish Chronicle, 26 March 2019, <www.thejc.com/education/education-news/new-campaign-launch-to-defend-traditional-family-groups-against-government-s-sex-education-curriculum-1.482119>, retrieved on 2 December 2019.

RSE SchoolGate Campaign, “ALERT! - RSE IS COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU!”, <www.schoolgatecampaign.org>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

RSE SchoolGate Campaign, “Guidelines for Distributors”, Support 4 the Family, 13 September 2019, <www.support4thefamily.org/school_gate_campaign.pdf>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

RSE SchoolGate Campaign, “Protecting your child from confusion & sexualisation in RSE lessons”, 6 April 2019, <www.support4thefamily.org/rse_leaflet_v5.pdf>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

Salahuddin Armstrong, P., “What is No Outsiders?”, Association of British Muslims, 1 May 2019, <https://paulsarmstrong.com/2019/05/03/what-is-no-outsiders/>, retrieved on 5 January 2020. Severs, G., “‘No promotion of homosexuality’: Section 28 and the No Outsiders protests”, History and Policy, 10 April 2019, <www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/no-promotion-of-homosexuality-section-28-and-the-no-outsiders-protests>, retrieved on 16 October 2019.

SREIslamic, “About Us”, <www.sreislamic.org/about-sre-islamic/>, retrieved on 18 December 2019.

Support 4 the Family, “About Us”, <www.support4thefamily.org/about_us.htm>, retrieved on 10 January 2020.

Tes reporter, “Schools will be backed on LGBT lessons, says Williamson”, tes, 30 August 2019.

Values Foundation, “Open Letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds”, February 2019, <https://values.foundation/open-letter-to-the-secretary-of-state-for-education-damian-hinds/>, retrieved on 10 January 2020.

Values Foundation, “Faith and Families in Education”, 29 March 2019, <https://values.foundation>, retrieved on 15 January 2020.

Vanderbeck, R. M., Johnson, P., “The Promotion of British Values: Sexual Orientation Equality, Religion and England’s Schools”, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 30 (3), 2016, pp. 292-321.

Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK), “About the Ministry”, <https://vfjuk.org.uk/about/>, retrieved on 12 January 2020.

Haut de page

Notes

1 The London Gazette, B20.

2 Goddard, G., Smith, V., Boycott, C., 2013, p. 8.

3 Goddard, G., Smith, V., Boycott, C., 2013, p. 9; Victoria Climbié’s death resulted in the Every Child Matters agenda in 2003 and the Children Act 2004.

4 Goddard, G., Smith, V., Boycott, C., 2013, pp. 8-9.

5 Macdonald, A., 2009, p. 10.

6 Macdonald, A., 2009, p. 7.

7 Macdonald, A., 2009, p. 7.

8 Ofsted, 2013.

9 House of Commons Education Committee, 2015, p. 3.

10 Carmichael, N., Cooper, Y., Miller, M., Wollaston, S., Wright, I.; Theresa May had been Conservative Prime Minister since July 2016.

11 PSHE Association, 2019.

12 DfEE, 2000, p. 5.

13 DfEE, 2000, p. 11.

14 DfEE, 2000, p. 11.

15 DfE, December 2017, p. 3.

16 DfE, February 2019, p. 6.

17 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-2.

18 DfE, March 2019.

19 DfE, February 2019, p. 19.

20 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-1.

21 DfE, February 2019, p. 15.

22 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.

23 DfE, March 2017, p. 4.

24 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.

25 DfE, March 2019, p. 1.

26 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.

27 Allan, A., Atkinson, E., Braceb, E., DePalma, R., Hemingway, J, 2008, p. 315.

28 Allan, A., Atkinson, E., Braceb, E., DePalma, R., Hemingway, J, 2008, p. 315.

29 DePalma, R., 2016, p. 831.

30 Ch7, pp. 95-110.

31 Moffat, A., 14 May 2018.

32 Lightfoot, L., 2016.

33 Moffat, A., 2012.

34 Lightfoot, L., 2016.

35 Moffat, A., 2018, p. 2.

36 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 2; Equality Act 2010, section 4.

37 Moffat, A., 2016.

38 Parr, T., 2010.

39 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50.

40 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 4-5.

41 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 6-7.

42 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 8-9.

43 Parr, T., 2010, pp. 18-9.

44 Parr, T., 2010, p. 32.

45 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50

46 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50.

47 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 50.

48 Greder, A., 2007.

49 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.

50 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.

51 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.

52 Moffat, A., 2016, p. 81.

53 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-2.

54 DfE, February 2019, pp. 21-2.

55 DfE, February 2019, p. 21.

56 Moffat, A., Pulley, H., 2017.

57 Moffat, A., Pulley, H., 2017.

58 Moffat, A., Pulley, H., 2017.

59 Ofsted, 2016.

60 Lightfoot, L., 2016.

61 Moffat, A., 2018, p. 18.

62 Ofsted, 2019, p. 1.

63 Parveen, N., 4 March 2019.

64 Parveen, N., 3 July 2019.

65 DfE, October 2019.

66 Parveen, N., 26 November 2019.

67 Rocker, S., 2019.

68 Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, 2018.

69 Conway, S., 2019.

70 Armstrong, P. S., 2019.

71 Armstrong, P. S., 2019.

72 Islam21C, “About Us”.

73 Bodi, F., 2019.

74 SREIslamic, “About Us”.

75 SREIslamic, “About Us”.

76 Anglican Mainstream, “Editorial Policy”.

77 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, “ALERT! - RSE IS COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU!”.

78 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, “ALERT! - RSE IS COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU!”.

79 Support 4 the Family, “About Us”.

80 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 13 September 2019.

81 ParentPower, 18 April 2018.

82 Voice for Justice UK (VfJUK), “About the Ministry”.

83 Christian Education Europe, “Educating for Eternity”.

84 ParentPower, “About Us”.

85 ParentPower, October 2019.

86 ParentPower, “About Us”.

87 Values Foundation, 29 March 2019.

88 Values Foundation, February 2019.

89 Rocker, S., 26 March 2019.

90 Values Foundation, February 2019.

91 “Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, 2019.

92 Kotecha, S., 7 February 2019, the lady’s daughter is about 7.

93 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.

94 Ofsted, 2019, p. 3.

95 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.

96 “Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, 2019.

97 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.

98 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.

99 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.

100 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.

101 RSE SchoolGate Campaign, 6 April 2019.

102 Parkfield Parents’ Community Group, 2019.

103 Kotecha, S., 19 March 2019.

104 “Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, 2019.

105 Parkfield Parents’ Community Group, 2019.

106 ParentPower, “About Us”.

107 Parkfield Parents’ Community Group, 2019.

108 Bodi, F., 2019.

109 Paton, D., 2019.

110 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.

111 Godfrey-Faussett, K., 2019.

112 ParentPower, 9 May 2019.

113 Bodi, F., 2019.

114 DfE, February 2019, pp. 20-1.

115 DfE, March 2019, pp. 1-2.

116 Roberts, J., 2019.

117 George, M., 28 June 2019; George, M., Speck, D., 2019.

118 tes reporter, 2019.

119 DfE, Parental Engagement on Relationships Education, October 2019, p. 2.

120 DfE, Parental Engagement on Relationships Education, October 2019, p. 2.

121 DfE, March 2019, p. 2.

122 DfE, February 2019, p. 15.

123 Downie, M., 2019, p. 5.

124 Downie, M., 2019, p. 20.

125 DfE, 2014, p. 3.

126 Vanderbeck, R. M., Johnson, P., 2016, p. 17.

127 Horrocks, D., 2014.

128 Vanderbeck, R. M., Johnson, P., 2016, p. 23.

129 Severs, G., 2019.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Anne Beauvallet, « Relationships Education in English Primary Schools : Squaring the Circle of Equality in the Early 21st Century », Observatoire de la société britannique, 26 | 2021, 193-217.

Référence électronique

Anne Beauvallet, « Relationships Education in English Primary Schools : Squaring the Circle of Equality in the Early 21st Century », Observatoire de la société britannique [En ligne], 26 | 2021, mis en ligne le 01 janvier 2022, consulté le 17 janvier 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/osb/5127 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/osb.5127

Haut de page

Auteur

Anne Beauvallet

Maîtresse de Conférences en civilisation britannique à l'Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès

Articles du même auteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Observatoire de la société britannique

Haut de page
  • Logo Université de Toulon
  • Logo Laboratoire Babel
  • OpenEdition Journals
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search