School children could be taught about homosexual issues in Maths, Science and Geography lessons, under controversial new plans funded by a taxpayer-backed quango.
The lesson plans, which are optional, include considering in Geography why homosexuals move from the countryside to cities and using same-sex characters in Maths problems.
One Conservative MP described the plans as “nonsense”, while the TaxPayers’ Alliance hit out at the cost of the scheme – an education quango has funded the plans with a grant of £35,000.
The lesson plans will be officially launched next month at the start of LGBT History Month, a series of events designed to push the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual issues.
Among the plans, according to The Sunday Telegraph, are suggestions in Science lessons to study animal species where the male takes a leading role in raising young, teaching “LGBT vocabulary” in Language lessons and encouraging pupils to make symbols linked to the ‘gay rights’ movement in Design and Technology classes.
The plans also suggest using homosexual characters in role play scenarios for Language classes and teaching about statistics through census data on the number of homosexuals.
For younger children the plans reportedly suggest promoting books such as “And Tango Makes Three”, a controversial storybook about a pair of male penguins who were treated as sexual mates in New York’s Central Park Zoo. Images of same-sex couples could also be part of youngsters’ lessons.
Craig Whittaker, Tory MP for Calder Valley in West Yorkshire and a member of the Education Select Committee, criticised the plans.
He said: “We have enough problems in our country, where we are too far down the national comparative league tables in these core subjects.
“Teachers should concentrate on teaching the core subjects, so we become the best at those again. I don’t see how introducing LGBT themes into those subjects is going to help.”
John O’Connell, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “Parents will wonder if this is the right use of funds and time in those subjects, particularly when we keep hearing how tight budgets are.”
And commentator Melanie Phillips, writing in the Daily Mail, said: “Absurd as it sounds, this is but the latest attempt to brainwash children with propaganda under the camouflage of education. It is an abuse of childhood.
“And it’s all part of the ruthless campaign by the gay rights lobby to destroy the very concept of normal sexual behaviour.
“Not so long ago, an epic political battle raged over teaching children that homosexuality was normal. The fight over Section 28, as it became known, resulted in the repeal of the legal requirement on schools not to promote homosexuality.”
The columnist continued: “As the old joke has it, what was once impermissible first becomes tolerated and then becomes mandatory.
“And the other side of that particular coin, as we are now discovering, is that values which were once the moral basis for British society are now deemed to be beyond the pale.”
David Watkins, a teacher involved in the scheme, said: “We don’t want teachers to start out saying ‘This is a gay lesson.'” But, he added: “When you have a maths problem, why does it have to involve a straight family or a boyfriend and girlfriend? Why not two boys or two girls?”
A spokesman for the Training and Development Agency for Schools, the education quango, said funding of £35,000 had been secured last March. He said £20,000 was to go towards the lessons plans, with the rest spent mostly on a website.
A Department for Education spokesman added: “These are optional teaching materials. Ultimately, it is for heads and teachers to choose the most appropriate teaching resources to help promote equality and tolerance.”
LGBT History Month has taken place every February since 2005. In the past it has tried to teach children that Florence Nightingale was a lesbian and that Isaac Newton was gay.