Birmingham LGBT is a local charity that delivers services to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community in the city. As an organisation, we have become increasingly concerned about the ongoing protests about the No Outsiders programme being taught at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham. The No Outsiders programme is an age-appropriate resource that promotes diversity and inclusion on the grounds of race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or religion, and is designed to introduce the Equality Act 2010 in primary schools. The programme, developed by Deputy Head Teacher Andrew Moffat, teaches that there are different types of families and aims to ensure that any children of LGBT parents can feel recognised and celebrated. It is important that work celebrating diversity, taught in an age-appropriate way, begins in primary schools, given the high levels of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools, and the high rates of self-harm and suicidal ideation amongst LGBT young people.
Birmingham LGBT fully supports the teaching of the No Outsiders programme in primary schools, and welcomes the statements supporting this issued by Birmingham City Council, Ofsted, and the West Midlands Mayor. Birmingham is a diverse city, and it is important that all communities within the city are able to co-exist based on the principles of dignity, tolerance, and mutual respect. While we strongly condemn any homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia that has been expressed, we would also seek to condemn any Islamophobia. We recognise that the principles of diversity and inclusion should apply to all communities, and in order to challenge institutional discrimination against LGBT people we also need to challenge institutional racism. The best way to do this is through dialogue and education, which is why programmes like No Outsiders are so important.