Gay Birmingham teacher resigns after parents complained that they did not want him to teach their children

Andrew Moffat stepped down after a group of 'mainly Muslim' parents complained

Antonia Molloy
Monday 07 April 2014 18:09 BST
Chilwell Croft Academy is the latest secular state school in Birmingham to be embroiled in controversy
Chilwell Croft Academy is the latest secular state school in Birmingham to be embroiled in controversy

A gay assistant head teacher has reportedly resigned after parents complained that they did not want their children to “learn that it’s OK to be gay”.

Andrew Moffat, author of Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools, was targeted by a group of mainly Muslim parents in the dispute at Chilwell Croft Academy, in Birmingham, The Sunday Times reported.

Mr Moffat, who resigned from his post in December and will leave the primary school this month, said some Christian parents had also complained.

His books have been used in literacy lessons for 10- and 11-year-olds, both at Chilwell Croft and other schools.

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 in the school, which explored relationships with different families.

“The… objections were primarily voiced by those whose own religion took an opposing stance to homosexuality.”

Mr Moffat, who has accepted another teaching post outside Birmingham, told The Sunday Times: “In my work I have met with some challenging views from different sections of the community.

“Some Christian and some Muslim parents have told me they don’t want their children learning that it’s OK to be gay.

“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,” he said.

Liam Nolan, the high-profile gay head teacher at Perry Beeches Academy in Birmingham, told the newspaper he had been “incredibly shocked that an assistant head teacher who was doing incredible work around relationship education had been intimidated by a small group".

But Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: "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.”

A dozen schools in Birmingham are under investigation by the Department for Education (DfE) over allegations of financial mismanagement and the introduction of Islamic practices.

Last month a document entitled Operation Trojan Horse was circulated. It was alleged to be a blueprint for Islamic hardliners on how to take control of schools in several cities.

Chilwell Croft and Mr Moffat told The Sunday Times they did not believe that their case was connected with those allegations.

The school said they were unable to comment further at this time.

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