Parental Involvement in Teaching: Equality Act

Part of Petition - Closure of Heywood Crown Post Office – in the House of Commons at 4:38 pm on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education) 4:38 pm, 25th June 2019

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for raising that issue—I was going to respond to his earlier question—and we will consider his suggestion. That is not a promise, but we will certainly consider and take seriously what he has put forward.

As the Secretary of State set out in his recent letter to the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, schools must have the flexibility to respond to events. For example, following consultation with parents on equality teaching or relationships education, a school may decide that for its pupils it is right to introduce teaching about LGBT people and relationships in the later years of primary. That would be an entirely reasonable decision. Subsequently, however, events may mean that that decision has to change. For example, if homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying becomes a problem in the school, the headteacher may reasonably decide that some teaching about LGBT issues at an earlier stage is required to ensure pupils understand that such bullying is not acceptable. Alternatively, a pupil with same-sex parents may join the school in an earlier year group. In those circumstances, it would be right for the pupil’s peers to understand about families with same-sex parents—