The introduction of mandatory relationships and sex education (RSE) in English schools was always going to be controversial. When the government consulted with the public, 40% of the responses were from people of faith. Overall, 58% of respondents disagreed with the content of relationships education in primary school and there was considerable opposition to teaching about LGBT relationships. Socially conservative Christian, Jewish and Muslim parents made their opinions known. But were they heard? The Guardian reports.
Digging deeper, we find communities who feel they have been backed into a corner and judged as not compatible with 21st century British values. Some mainstream Muslim school leaders in Birmingham feel marginalised.
Polarisation is not a sustainable position. Heads have to work closely with their communities but they also need strong backing from the government, given the strength of feeling that has been expressed.
Colin Diamond, professor of educational leadership at the University of Birmingham explains how Unicef’s children’s rights charter helped Birmingham after the Trojan horse crisis and offers a basis for relationship education There is a way out of the schools LGBT protest mess – but ministers need to get behind it
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin