Church school criticised by some parents for its' LGBT inclusion efforts

30 June 2022, 15:05 | Updated: 30 June 2022, 15:06

A Church school in Oxfordshire has been criticised by some parents for displaying the LGBT rainbow flag
A Church school in Oxfordshire has been criticised by some parents for displaying the LGBT rainbow flag. Picture: Alamy

By Cameron Kerr

A Church school in Oxfordshire has faced criticism from some parents over a diversity-driven makeover that features rainbow flags.

The rainbow flags, used to represent the LGBT community, have been displayed in some locations around fee-paying Kingham Hill School, including the library.

However some parents are upset with the gesture, in particular the placement of the flag on a lectern that has been used to read passages from the Bible.

A parent at the school, Helkias Mapimhidze, told the Times that some parents at the school felt ‘betrayed’ in light of the changes taking place at the school. “They seem embarrassed to be a Christian School”, said Mr Mapimhidze.

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Last year, an inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) found the school was failing to meet teaching requirements for same-sex relationships, and needed to take immediate action.

The ISI said that, in line with the Equality Act, teaching must not ‘discriminate against pupils’.

The school, located close to Chipping Norton, has around 350 pupils.

The chairman of governors, the Rev Robert Marsden, said in a letter to parents seen by the Times, that he was aware that chapels and assemblies had previously made individuals feel ‘unwelcome’.

Marsden said the school was committed to making everyone feel ‘welcome’.

Under government requirements, same sex relationships should be included within sex education lessons covering healthy and stable relationships.

Since September 2020, government regulations have required all secondary schools in England to teach relationships and sex education.

The row at the school comes during Pride month, an annual event celebrating LGBT communities around the world.