Don’t say ‘mum and dad’, guidance tells teachers

New Government guidance for schools tells teachers to avoid the assumption that a pupil’s parents are heterosexual.

The guidance, which was jointly produced by the homosexual lobby group Stonewall and Educational Action Challenging Homophobia, was launched by Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls.

It recommends that secondary schools “should make efforts to talk inclusively about same-sex parents, for example, avoid assuming all pupils will have a ‘mum and dad’.

“When schools discuss marriage, they may also discuss civil partnership and adoption rights for gay people.”

Suggested lesson ideas for 4-7 year olds include talking about different sorts of families, so that children will understand that: “Families can be different but they all do the same sort of thing.”

The guidance suggests that relevant issues should be considered in the context of a range of curriculum subjects, including English,Geography, History, Art, Music, Drama, and PE.

The guidance has no statutory force and a recent High Court judgment ruled that the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which ban discrimination against homosexuals in the provision of goods and services, do not extend to the school curriculum or to lessons.

Recent Government figures have shown that only 1 in every 100 people in the UK describe themselves as homosexual. The latest census found there are fewer than 40,000 same-sex households in England and Wales, representing less than 0.2% of all households.