The head of Ofsted has said all children should be taught about same-sex couples.
It comes following a protest at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, where parents argued against the LGBTQ-inclusive No Outsiders project, which aims to teach kids about diversity and equality.
Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of the government’s education watchdog Ofsted, told BBC News on Thursday that it was crucial that children learn about different types of relationships and family setups.
“It’s making sure they know just enough to know that some people prefer not to get married to somebody of the opposite sex, and sometimes there are families that have two mummies or two daddies,” she said.
“It’s about making sure that children who do happen to realise that they themselves may not fit a conventional pattern know that they’re not bad [and] they’re not ill.”
The No Outsiders project was created and piloted at Parkfield Community School in 2014 by assistant head teacher Andrew Moffat, who was awarded an MBE for services to equality and diversity in education in 2017.
The project aims to “prepare children for a life in modern Britain” and “teach children to be proud of who they are while recognising and celebrating difference and diversity”. It uses the Equality Act 2010 as a reference point.
But according to BBC News, Muslim and Christian protestors at the primary school have argued the teachings of the programme contradict their faith, and accused Moffat of “promoting personal beliefs” about homosexuality.
Responding to the protest, Spielman argued that Ofsted “very regularly” inspect schools that are able to teach about equality while also respecting religious beliefs.
“It’s something that the vast majority of faith schools, even those which clearly teach that homosexuality is not right in their faith, still manage to do this in a sensitive and careful way that absolutely does fulfil the law,” she continued.
“We’ve got to have sane, rational discussions to say, ‘Are there places where it’s not working well enough that we can find better ways?’ But it’s proper conversation that will change it, not protests.
“The essence of democracy is that we don’t all get our way, the essence of democracy is that we accept majority decision, which means there will always be things that some of us don’t like.”