Write to the Education Secretary in defence of LGBT inclusion in schools

As you may have seen or heard via the media this year, a number of schools in England have been attacked locally for promoting acceptance towards LGBT people. In some cases schools have faced intense campaigns.

Another issue (which has passed largely under the radar) is that rather than helpfully defend LGBT inclusivity when it is sorely needed, the Government has instead been facilitating schools that are disinclined to teach about LGBT people. This includes via new relationships education guidance, which does not require primary schools to even mention LGBT people, and new independent school standards guidance that has been diluted.

For example, an earlier draft of the guidance last March expected independent secondary school age pupils to know about the protected characteristics listed under the Equality Act (which include sexual orientation and gender reassignment) and encouraged that independent primary school age pupils be taught about how people are different on these grounds. The final guidance released this April removed these references. Ofsted has recently been taking a firmer line with independent faith schools that ignore LGBT content and so the new guidance undermines this work.

We are therefore seeking to increase pressure on the Government to offer greater support for schools in upholding LGBT inclusivity. Below is a template letter which you can send to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, to express your discontent. The template letter can be amended in any way you wish. Do consider adding any personal perspectives. These could be based on your hopes and anxieties and of your own direct experiences of the issues at hand or/and those of people close to you. The more of us who write to the Education Secretary the better.

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