Parkfield school head hits back at ‘ridiculous’ LGBT lesson claims

Protestors outside of Parkfield School, Birmingham

Parkfield, the Birmingham school at the centre of a row over LGBT-inclusive teaching, says rumours that four year olds are receiving lessons on gay sex are “ridiculous.”

The primary school suspended its No Outsiders programme, which teaches children about diversity and inclusion, following widespread protests from parents.

As nearby Birmingham schools follow suit in scrapping LGBT lessons, Parkfield’s CEO has hit back at claims teachers use clay models to “show the children something of a sexual nature.”

“We certainly don’t do that,” Hazel Pulley told BirminghamLive.

“It’s very clear that we would never, ever discuss sexual activity with very young children at all. It’s ridiculous.”

Parkfield teachers worried sick over protests

Pulley, who has led Parkfield since 2010, said that “five or six” teachers have taken sick leave as a result of the situation.

“It’s really upsetting. Some of the staff are becoming ill, they’re losing weight. Some staff really don’t want to come to school because sometimes they’re met—especially the teachers of young children—with parents accusing them of things that are just not happening,” she said.

On March 4, Parkfield paused the No Outsiders programme after children were withdrawn in a parent protest.

“It’s very clear that we would never, ever discuss sexual activity.”

—Hazel Pulley, CEO of Parkfield School

Approximately 600 children, from mostly Muslim backgrounds, were reported to be kept at home for the day.

The programme was suspended indefinitely on March 14. A statement from the school read: “Until a resolution has been reached, No Outsiders lessons will not be taught at Parkfield and we hope that children will not be removed from school to take part in protests.”

Birmingham Parkfield school praised by Ofsted

Ofsted has ruled that there is “no evidence” to support criticism of the programme.

Senior inspector Peter Humphries wrote on March 5: “A very small, but vocal, minority of parents are not clear about the school’s vision, policies and practice.”

Andrew Moffat, assistant head of Parkfield school, Birmingham

Parkfield’s assistant head Andrew Moffat teaches a class (Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize/YouTube)

“This group of parents feel that staff do not sufficiently listen to their concerns.

“Their view is that PSHE education and equalities curriculum focuses disproportionately on LGBT issues and that this work is not taught in an age-appropriate manner.

“Inspectors found no evidence this was the case.”

Humphries praised the school’s staff for their commitment to inclusion, writing: “Respect, tolerance, understanding and acceptance of other’s differences underpin the work of the school.”