Assistant head 'threatened' in LGBT teaching row

By Sima Kotecha
Midlands correspondent, BBC News

Image caption,
Andrew Moffat said the No Outsiders project was about community cohesion and learning to live in modern Britain

A primary school teacher says he has received threats from parents amid protests over teachings about LGBT rights and homophobia.

Demonstrations against the classes have been held outside Parkfield Community School in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

Assistant head Andrew Moffat, who is gay, said he had received "nasty emails" and threats, including one which warned he "wouldn't last long".

Protesters have accused him of promoting "personal beliefs".

Chants of "say no to Moffat" were heard when about 100 people gathered outside the school for the latest protest.

About 741 pupils attend the school, rated "outstanding" by Ofsted, in the predominantly Muslim area.

Some parents at Parkfield are unhappy young children are being taught about same sex couples and the "gender identity" elements of the programme.

A petition against the teachings has now amassed more than 400 signatures.

Image caption,
About 100 people gathered outside the school gates for the latest demonstration

"I've had some nasty emails, I've had some comments on messenger," said Mr Moffat, who was made an MBE for services to equality and diversity in education in 2017.

"I have felt very threatened... it's been a challenging couple of weeks.

"However, what keeps me going is the support from the school which is absolutely brilliant, the DfE, Ofsted, the city council.

"There are lots of people recognising that this work is important and that's what you have to hold on to."

Image caption,
Parents tied signs to iron railings outside the primary school

The No Outsiders project was first created and piloted by Mr Moffat at the school in 2014 and aims to educate children to accept differences in society.

Dozens of schools across England now teach the same programme, he said.

Mr Moffat resigned from a previous teaching post after a row with Christian parents over teachings about challenging homophobia.

Protesters, who have held a number of demonstrations outside the school gates, claim he is "promoting... personal beliefs and convictions about universal acceptability of homosexuality as being normal and morally correct".

"We have no objection to the promotion of respectful treatment of all people", a statement they handed in to the school says.

One mother, who asked not to be identified, said: "Everyone is different and we accept it.

"If it was in secondary school then fine, but my daughter is in Year 3. I just don't agree with it at all."

In a statement released after the latest protest, the school said it was "disappointed" but had no plans to change its teaching.

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