Why education that promotes equality and diversity should not be up for debate

Sexplain has published a response to the no outsiders protests and why education must be inclusive of all - available here.

Elmer  by David McKee is one of the No Outsiders books.

Elmer by David McKee is one of the No Outsiders books.

Debate has recently been raised as to whether or not education should be LGBTQIA+ inclusive at all ages. This has been in response to the No Outsiders programme, a scheme of work developed by teacher Andrew Moffat for primary schools.

In fact, to describe the protests as being in response to LGBT inclusive education for primary school children is almost a bit of an overstatement. The No Outsiders programme centres around a series of lovely children’s books that promote equal rights regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, including And Tango Make Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, and Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph. In reality, what is being challenged are children learning messages like, “did you know we are all different, and that’s a good thing” or, “by the way there are families that exist where there are two dads”.

The rhetoric surrounding the challenges to the No Outsiders programme has been strongly reflective of Section 28, which banned the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools. Although it was repealed in 2003, its legacy remains, resulting in the attitudes we have seen here.

Sexplain provides lgbtqia+ inclusive sex and relationships education workshops for secondary schools, youth groups and universities, and training for staff. If you would like to work with us please get in touch.

Thank you to our volunteer Eve Pardoe for designing this piece.