A group of Muslim parents have staged a protest outside a primary school with a gay assitant head teacher after claiming its sex education programme was ‘over-promoting LGBT movements’.
Andrew Moffat MBE, assistant headteacher at Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham, has been criticised by some parents for piloting a programme called No Outsiders.
Run alongside sex and relationship education lessons, the scheme promotes LGBT equality and challenges homophobia in primary schools.
Books now being read by pupils at Parkfield Community School include Mommy, Mama and Me and King & King – stories about same-sex relationships and marriages.
Fatima Shah (holding petition), who is protesting against a sex education programme at Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham
But Mr Moffat, who is gay, has come under fire from some Muslim parents who believe homosexuality is a sin.
Outraged mother Fatima Shah, who has taken her 10-year-old daughter out of the school, said: ‘It’s inappropriate, totally wrong.
‘Children are being told it’s OK to be gay yet 98 per cent of children at this school are Muslim. It’s a Muslim community.
‘I’ve taken my daughter out and other parents have too. Enough is enough.
‘Sex relationship education is being taught without our consent. We’ve not been informed about what’s being taught.
Andrew Moffat, assistant head teacher at Parkfield Community School with a ‘No Outsiders’ book
‘Mr Moffat is running what’s called CHIPS – challenging homophobia in primary schools – and it’s totally against Islamic beliefs.
‘My child came home and told me am I OK to be a boy? It’s confusing children about sexuality.
‘I want my child to learn about English, maths and science.
‘I’m keeping my daughter away from the school until something is done. I’ve been paying £20-an-hour tuition at home instead.’
And while Ms Shah is against LGBT equality being taught at Parkfield, the29-year-old insisted she believed that ‘gay people should be treated with mutual respect’.
Speaking alongside other Muslim parents during a demonstration outside the
school gates, the mother-of-three added: ‘We believe in fundamental British values and believe gay people should be treated with mutual respect and without prejudice or discrimination just like any other human being.
‘We respect the Equality Act and believe it can be implemented without the promotion of homosexuality.
Hazel Pulley, head teacher at Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham
‘Children have a naive and innocent picture of sexual relationships.
‘At this age it is inappropriate to teach them what is a gay or straight relationship.
‘The school knew the local community and parents have a different set of family values and morals, and were opposed to an LGBT agenda that says being gay is OK.
‘Our community ethos was not respected. We feel betrayed by the school.’
Others who spoke to outside the school included mother-of-two Mariam Ahmed.
The 34-year-old, who has helped organise a petition calling for change, said: ‘No Outsiders is not for our community. We have a different ethos.
‘Mr Moffat is over-promoting LGBT movements.
‘I have nothing against him and I fully respect his beliefs but this should be stopped being taught in schools. It’s not necessary. It’s confusing children.
Andrew Moffat (left) and Hazel Pulley, assistant head and head teacher at Parkfield Community School
‘My little girl is four, she’s in reception and she came home asking me if it’s OK to be a boy instead of a girl and has dressed up in her brother’s clothes. She’s four years old.’
Mohammed Sakib, 37, who has children aged eight, nine and 10 at the school, added: ‘I respect all religions but why should sexuality be taught to primary school-aged children? It’s out of control.
‘[Mr Moffat] seems a friendly and good-natured guy but he needs to respect us as Muslim parents. He needs to listen.’
Another mother, who has children aged seven and 11, added: ‘Why does my seven-year-old girl need to be taught about same-sex marriages and homosexuality?
‘She should be playing, having fun and should be learning about English and maths. This curriculum is putting ideas into their heads.’
Another added: ‘There’s no need. This place is different, it’s a 90 per cent Muslim school.
‘There’s books on the curriculum like Mommy, Mama and Me which promotes same-sex marriage and being lesbian. Just why is this needed?’
In 2014, Mr Moffat resigned from Chilwell Croft Academy in Newtown, Birmingham following a backlash from parents after coming out during a school assembly.
The school teacher has been at Parkfield Community School for four years.
In 2016, the 740-pupil school was deemed outstanding across the board by Ofsted and, a year later, Mr Moffat was awarded an MBE for services to equality and diversity in education.
The report said: ‘This is an inclusive school that celebrates diversity. As a result, pupils demonstrate respect for an individual’s age, disability, gender or gender reassignment, sexuality, race, religion or belief.’
Fatima Shah (holding petition), who is protesting against a sex education programme at Parkfield Community School
In a joint statement outlining concerns by parents, Mr Moffat and Hazel Pulley, CEO of Excelsior Multi Academy Trust, said Parkfield Community School ‘have no plans to change their curriculum and No Outsiders remains an integral part of the drive for excellence’.
They added: ‘The No Outsiders programme teaches children that everyone is welcome.
‘It was created in 2014 by Andrew Moffat, assistant head at Parkfield Community School, and piloted at the school.
‘The aim was to find a way to teach children about the Equality Act 2010, developing an understanding of British values through an inclusive curriculum and school ethos.
‘A key element of the No Outsiders ethos is engagement with parents from the start, in order to promote solid foundations of tolerance that are matched both in and outside the school gates.
‘Ninety-eight per cent of the children at Parkfield practice the Islamic faith and initially this presented tension within some aspects of No Outsiders, specifically the acceptance of LGBT equality.
‘Through parent workshops where resources and discussions were shared in the early stages of the pilot, the school was able to move forward with the support of the parent community.
Andrew Moffat MBE is assistant headteacher at Parkfield Community School (pictured)
‘In the last four years the No Outsiders ethos has blossomed as an integral part of the school. An outstanding Ofsted report in 2016 recognised No Outsiders as a key strength of the school.
‘In December 2018, a small group of parents at Parkfield School voiced concern about proposed government changes to the teaching of SRE (Sex and Relationship Education) in schools for 2020, specifically that schools would be forced to teach the subject and parents would be unable to withdraw children.
‘At Parkfield School, SRE has been taught for the last three years, always in July, to Y3, Y5 and Y6.
‘Every year before the lessons are delivered parents are invited to review materials used and are given the option of removing children from the lessons if they wish.
‘In the first week of January 2019, Parkfield school received a steady stream of enquiries about the teaching of SRE and linking No Outsiders to SRE.
‘Parents were concerned that the school was promoting homosexuality and indoctrinating their children to be gay.
‘The headteacher, David Williams, and Andrew Moffat have met any parent asking for a meeting and were currently meeting parents about this at least once every day, ‘No Outsiders’ resources are shown and usually parents leave appearing to be reassured and happy with the explanation.
Full text of leaflet handed out to parents outside Parkfield School
‘Brothers and sisters, is it OK for your children to be gay?
‘Are you aware of the resource being used in literacy lessons promoting
‘Did you know Mr Moffat left his last role because parents believed he had
no right coming out to children? They wanted all the lessons containing
LGBT to be removed from curriculum.
‘Did you know that our children are now being taught the very same thing?
‘Have you asked what your children are being taught? What they are reading?
‘Please join us in our petition to have the No Outsider removed from the
‘Please help us make a difference to what children are being taught.’
‘Presently these meetings have been curtailed due to them becoming personal and aggressive.
‘However, a small group of parents are collecting petitions on the school gate to ‘stop the sexualisation of children’.
‘On Monday, January 11, Andrew Moffat approached the parents to ask what the petition was about; unbeknown to Andrew, he was filmed by a parent and this film was later put on social media.
‘A member of the public phoned the school on Thursday, January 17 to say the film of Mr Moffat would be ‘bad for his health’.
‘Many parents told the school they felt pressured to sign the petition but didn’t really support it.
‘Some parents are openly refusing to sign. On Friday, January 18 the school was leafleted at home time: On Saturday, February 2 there are two public meetings in the community about the teaching of SRE.
‘Central to everything we do is our duty to safeguard all children.
‘As part of our safeguarding duty, we have to ensure we safeguard and protect them from all possible forms of harm including homophobic or transgender bullying.
‘No Outsiders allows us to raise awareness of these differences so that children are able to tolerate and accept differences in our society.’