MSPs reject bid to make LGBT teaching statutory

The Scottish Parliament has rejected a bid to make the teaching of LGBT topics a statutory requirement in all schools.

In August last year, homosexual lobby group, Time for Inclusive Education (TIE), called for the Scottish Parliament to “urge” the Government to enforce a pro-LGBT agenda in schools.

But the Public Petitions Committee, convened by Labour MSP Michael McMahon, decided that the group’s request had “little support” from Government, local authorities and other organisations.

Little support

Mr McMahon said the committee had sympathy for LGBT students who experience “bullying and social isolation” in Scottish schools.

However, he pointed out that making LGBT issues a statutory part of the national curriculum would represent a departure from the historic non-prescriptive position taken by Scotland’s education system.

He said the committee had asked the Scottish Government, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and other groups for their response and there was “little support to make teaching of LGBTI+ issues a statutory requirement”.

LGBT topics

TIE called for teaching on a number of LGBT issues and topics to be made a compulsory part of the curriculum, including:

  • Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
  • Diverse family types, including same-sex relationships
  • The Equal Rights Movement, Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Movement
  • Sexualities and sexual orientation
  • Transgenderism and gender identity
  • Pro-LGBT sexual health education
  • Trojan horse

    TIE’s agenda was strongly opposed by a leader in the Free Church of Scotland, David Robertson, who described it as a: “Trojan horse to impose an ideological perspective on all pupils”.

    Revd Robertson stressed that “no pupils should be bullied in school for their beliefs and for the pursuit of a particular lifestyle and morality”.

    But he added that TIE’s demand for statutory teaching of such topics, without provision for parents and pupils who disagree, is in direct conflict with human rights legislation.

    Opt out

    At present, the school curriculum in Scotland is not statutory but is developed using general guidance issued by Education Scotland.

    Schools can choose to opt out of certain education programmes if they contravene their ethos.

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