A gay assistant head teacher who wrote books challenging homophobia for primary school pupils has resigned after parents complained that they did not want their children “learning that it’s OK to be gay”.
Andrew Moffat was a target for protests at Chilwell Croft Academy in Birmingham from mainly Muslim parents. It is the latest in a series of controversies at secular schools in the city.
A dozen schools in Birmingham are currently under investigation by the Department for Education over allegations of financial mismanagement and Islamic extremism.
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Mr Moffat resigned from Chilwell Croft Academy’s primary school in December and will leave his post later this month. He said some Christian parents had also complained.
His books, entitled Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools, have been used in literacy lessons for 10- and 11-year-olds, including some of the 363 pupils at Chilwell Croft.
Mr Moffat, who has worked at the school for five years and trained teachers on how to prevent homophobic bullying, told the Daily Mail: “Some Christian and some Muslim parents have told me they don’t want their children learning it’s OK to be gay.
“In my work I have met with some challenging views from different sections of the community,” he said.
“I did come out at school in an assembly after a group of 11-year-olds held up a poster they made, with the heading ‘Gay is good’. It seemed like the right time to let the children know that they knew a gay person.
“Following my coming out, some parents from different communities complained to the school, but I maintain that my decision was the right one at that time.”
In a statement, the school said: “A minority group of parents objected to some of the resource books being used in literacy lessons with some of the oldest children. Objections were primarily voiced by those whose own religion took an opposing stance to homosexuality.”
Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said schools had a duty to inform parents before using classroom resources that some might object to on religious grounds.
“If parents are coming from a particular religious group, whether it is Islamic or Christian, and they have a concern at what they might consider the promotion of homosexuality, the school’s position should be made clear to them,” he said.
It is only the latest row involving a school in Birmingham. Last month a letter was circulated referring to a “plot” by Islamist extremists to take over the running of schools in the city. At least a dozen schools are being investigated by the Department for Education.
Chilwell Croft and Mr Moffat, who has now accepted another teaching position outside Birmingham, said they did not believe that their case was connected with those allegations.
See also coverage at The Daily Mail.