London: Catholic head teacher denies asking Stonewall to visit school over claims student called shoes ‘gay’

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A head teacher has denied reports that gay rights charity Stonewall were called in to her school because of claims a child called a fellow pupil’s shoes “gay” in a playground.

Earlier today the Telegraph and several other newspapers claimed Sarah Crouch, the head teacher of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Wimbledon, south-west London, had requested Stonewall to visit the school because of the playground jibe.

However, on Wednesday afternoon, Miss Crouch and Stonewall said there had been no reported incident of a child calling another pupil’s shoes “gay”.

Miss Crouch said: “That incident did not happen, we log all incidents of homophobic language use and that is not in there.”

The head teacher said Stonewall visited the school last September as part of a requirement by Ofsted to provide adequate anti-homophobic bullying training for staff.

Miss Crouch said that Stonewall’s programme was tailored specifically for the Catholic school and did not mention same-sex relationships or equal marriage. It concentrated on how teachers should tackle incidents of homophobic bullying.

Stonewall Head of Education Wes Streeting said: “We’re delighted to be working with staff at St Mary’s and hundreds of teachers in faith schools across Britain to help tackle homophobic language and homophobic bullying.”

He added: “Our work with St Mary’s is part of an ongoing programme to help staff challenge homophobia, which helps meet Ofsted guidelines and the Catholic Education Service’s advice that Catholic schools tackle homophobic bullying.’


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