Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School Is Rapped for Lack of LGBT Issues Teaching; Pupils Learn Only about Traditional Families, Say Inspectors

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School Is Rapped for Lack of LGBT Issues Teaching; Pupils Learn Only about Traditional Families, Say Inspectors

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH GRAHAM Reporter hannah.graham@ncjmedia.co.uk

AN orthodox Jewish primary school has come under fire from Ofsted for refusing to acknowledge LGBT individuals.

Inspectors said leaders at Gateshead Jewish Primary School had "a clear understanding" of equality law, but warned it was unlikely to meet the standards required of independent schools because it would not recognise possible LGBT pupils, or discuss LGBT issues with students.

In a report published last week, inspectors said: "Leaders do not feel that they are able to identify to their pupils groups of people who are gender-reassigned or have sexual orientation other than heterosexuality, as this contravenes some aspects of the community's Jewish faith."

They added: "As a result, pupils are unaware that families may be made up of a range of different adults, including same-sex parents."

The Department for Education recently announced a new policy on relationships and sex education, which includes a requirement that schools teach that some people are LGBT and that this should be respected in British society and is protected under UK law.

'Charedi' (highly orthodox) Jewish schools were among those suggesting that this requirement would conflict with their faith.

In a Parliamentary debate about the proposals last week Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said that while she hoped the Government would address concerns within the strictly Orthodox Jewish community about of Ofsted, "there can be no opting out of the Equality Act 2010 and that all schools must teach the law on these issues so that pupils understand it".

The Gateshead primary, which caters for 250 boys aged five to 11, was examined by Ofsted as it applies to make a "material change" to its provision.

Previously, the school was technically co-educational, but spilt boys and girls within the campus. …

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