Gavin Williamson: Headteachers Should Be "Able To Teach About Britain As It Is Today"

30 August 2019, 16:01

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has called for relationship education in all state schools
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has called for relationship education in all state schools. Picture: PA

The Education Secretary has pledged support for every school in the UK in teaching relationship education.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said every school in the UK will get specialist support on teaching relationship education when pupils return to the classroom in September.

He stated that headteachers should be "able to teach about Britain as it is today."

Mr Williamson also argued that the Government has "set out quite clearly" the law and what is expected in teaching relationship education.

His comments come after high-profile anti-LGBT protests outside primary schools when it was announced that relationship education would become mandatory in all schools in 2020.

Demonstrators clashed outside primary schools across the UK.

In June Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, headteacher of Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham, called for Gavin Williamson's predecessor Damian Hinds to visit her school and discuss current policy on relationships and LGBT education in schools after weeks of protests at her school gates.

She said she had been subject to weeks of abuse during these protests.

Speaking at the time, she said, "The importance of this goes beyond Anderton Park, it goes beyond protests on my pavements, it's a British law issue."

Mr Williamson has stated that "we shouldn't be seeing protests outside any schools", but that he has no plans to go to the school to discuss the policy.

Protestors clashed outside Anderton park Primary School over LGBT education
Protestors clashed outside Anderton park Primary School over LGBT education. Picture: PA

In July, the Government announced that the programme, in which schools teach pupils about diversity and difference in modern society, would be going ahead and will begin in September.

The Department of Education programme encourages schools to start teaching the new curriculum on relationships and education this year before the compulsory roll out next year.

It comprises of relationships education for primary school children and relationships and sex educations for secondary school pupils.

The controversial decision has come under criticism from protestors who claim that the content is not "age appropriate" and is "overemphasising the gay ethos".

But LGBT campaigners that these protests are "homophobic."

Mr Williamson stated that, "The purpose of it is we wanted to make sure every single school is able to teach about Britain as it is today - but also have the flexibility to ensure that it has an understanding of the communities which it operates in."

"We've set out quite clearly in terms of legislation and in terms of delivery of sex and relationship education and that's there for all schools to deliver and will be rolled out over the coming year."

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