MP condemns LGBT charities teaching 'dangerous and extreme ideologies' in schools

9 November 2021, 21:55

Miriam Cates  said schools need to be "very, very careful" about who was invited to address students
Miriam Cates said schools need to be "very, very careful" about who was invited to address students. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A conservative MP has warned schools of the "terrible consequences” of inviting LGBT charities into school to provide "counselling-type" services.

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MP Miriam Cates criticised LGBT groups Stonewall and Mermaids for teaching "dangerous and contested extreme ideologies" to school children.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, the former secondary school teacher welcomed proposals for all schools to have counsellors, including from charities and the third sector, but added there was a need to be "very, very careful" about who was invited to address students.

Ms Cates said: "I do want to raise what I think is a very dangerous potential safeguarding issue that we are seeing in this area right now, where schools are inviting outside organisations into schools to provide counselling-type services and using their materials, groups like Stonewall and Mermaids, who are teaching what I think are dangerous and contested extreme ideologies that don't have a basis in science to our children, and it is contrary to DfE guidance."

According to Ms Cate, "only" 47 per cent of schools which employed counsellors, hired those who were registered with a professional body.

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The MP warned the groups had "terrible consequences" on school children causing both teachers and pupils to be"afraid to speak out".

Her comments come after the government announced new proposals to make it illegal to persuade a child to change gender.

The legislation set to come into force next spring will make it illegal for adults to convince children to change their gender.

The new law will impact charities offering counselling and advice to children with gender dysphoria but doctors and psychiatrists will be exempt - as will family and friends giving informal advice.

The proposals will cover attempts to change a person from being attracted to the same-sex to being attracted to the opposite-sex, or from not being transgender to being transgender, and vice-versa.

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The consultation document states: "The Government is determined to ensure that no person is put on a clinical pathway that is not right for them, and that young people are supported in exploring their identity without being encouraged towards one particular path."

This is particularly the case for young people where this may result in an "irreversible decision", it adds.

The new offence will be punishable by imprisonment of up to five years.