Lambeth Council is writing to schools across the borough in support of LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education.
Labour Councillor Stephen Donnelly headed a motion which was passed unanimously on July 17 and received support from Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills & Community Safety Mohammed Seedat, as well as LGBT councillors Lucy Caldicott and Matthew Bennett.
Councillor Donnelly said: “A debate previously thought settled has been reopened by people who are trying to divide minority communities and take us back to a time when we didn’t support people of different ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations or genders.”
Despite the government introducing compulsory LGBT education at a secondary level from September 2020, the decision to teach children in primary schools about LGBT relationships will remain at individual schools’ discretion.
The National Association of Headteachers and the National Union of Teachers have been calling for clearer political guidance after accusing the government of passing the buck on the issue, according to councillor Donnelly.
By writing to schools across Lambeth, the council hopes to make it clear to schools facing criticism for delivering an inclusive curriculum that their decisions are endorsed by the local authority.
Protests outside Parkfield and Anderton Park primaries in Birmingham were highlighted as re-opening a debate about LGBT education and homophobia.
Councillor Donnelly, part of the Labour group supporting the campaign pictured above, added: “Many of our schools are currently delivering LGBT-inclusive sex education and have been for a long time, but what the government has done is stepped back the minute it’s got difficult.
“In every instance where LGBT rights have been rolled back they have always started with an attempt to argue that LGBT people are somehow a threat to children.
“In reality we know that sex education at the youngest level is just about giving kids the most basic knowledge that relationships come in different shapes and sizes, and should be founded on love and respect, in order to build a more tolerant society.”