Birmingham & Black Country

'No Outsiders' teacher to lead Birmingham Pride parade

New Street crowds watching Birmingham Pride
Image caption Last year's Pride celebrations attracted thousands to Birmingham

A teacher whose lesson programme covering LGBT relationships has been at the centre of protests will lead a parade during Birmingham Pride.

Andrew Moffat started the 'No Outsiders' lessons at Parkfield Community School in the city.

Parents - largely of the Muslim faith - have campaigned against the lessons at schools across the city, arguing it goes against their religious beliefs.

Pride organisers said there was "no-one better" to lead the city's parade.

Image caption Parkfield's assistant head teacher, Andrew Moffat, will lead the parade through Birmingham

Festival director Lawrence Barton said Mr Moffat had been asked to lead the parade in light of the "division which the controversy over 'No Outsiders' lessons has created".

He said the programme was "doing excellent work in helping children to learn about and understand the world around them".

Mr Moffat said he was "overjoyed" to be invited to lead the parade, which will go through the city centre to the gay village on 25 May.

"The message I want to give is that it's not a case of Muslims versus LGBT or different cultures not getting along," he said.

"The great thing about Birmingham is its diversity and that we can all get along."

Protests began outside Parkfield in January after parents claimed the classes were inappropriate for young children and contradicted Islam.

Strikes were called off while talks were held, however there were also strikes at four other schools in Birmingham - as well as spreading outside the city - and protests continue outside Anderton Park Primary School.

Birmingham City Council said claims the lessons "present a threat to the innocence of children are unfounded and misinformed".

Image caption Hundreds of parents and children have gathered outside Parkfield Community School in protest

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