“This will help foster greater inclusion, acceptance and understanding in our classrooms, playgrounds and school corridors”

BY ANEZKA TUREK

With a first time change since 2000 for the board of relationship and education guidance, MPs have voted in favour of inclusive lessons on the topic of sex education.

Backed by 538 in total, under new rules students will be taught about a variety of different family types, rather than strictly nuclear. This is set to include same-sex couples and parents, bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender identities, alongside the effects of stereotypes on those who belong to either group.

Due to come into force in September of 2020, this new inclusion will apply to both primary and secondary school students, with teaching striving to be “sensitive and age appropriate”.

This comes as a greatly needed step forward in regards to representation of the LGBTQI+ community within the education system. According to LGBTQI+ charity Stonewall, two out of every five LGBTQI+ students are taught nothing of such issues within school, and nearly half are bullied because of their sexual orientation.

As stated by the director of education and youth, Mo Wiltshire, “These new subjects have the potential to deliver real change in how LGBT families, people and relationships are taught about. This will help foster greater inclusion, acceptance and understanding in our classrooms, playgrounds and school corridors.”

Some parents have expressed opposition to the new inclusive changes. Most notably, Parkfield Community School in Birmingham which has found itself rife with protest against its No Outsiders programme, which aims to teach students about diversity including, among other groups, the LGBTQI+ community.

One mother, Mariam Ahmed, with a daughter at the school told i News she thinks the initiative is “absolutely wrong” arguing that this education is “getting children confused”.

But with the changes set in place and ready to go for next year, and 97% of young people in support of the move as according to research by the Terrence Higgins Trust, perhaps this goes to show that in many ways, love has a greater power for change than hate.

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