‘No Outsiders’ teacher delivers message of equality in NSS lecture

Posted: Wed, 11 Sep 2019

‘No Outsiders’ teacher delivers message of equality in NSS lecture

The creator of an LGBT-inclusive school programme that sparked religiously-motivated protests emphasised the importance of teaching children about equality at a major National Secular Society lecture.

Delivering the NSS's third annual Bradlaugh Lecture at Manchester Art Gallery on Saturday, Andrew Moffat highlighted successes of the 'No Outsiders' programme, which aims to prepare children for life in 21st century British society.

Moffat, who is assistant headteacher of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, said he created 'No Outsiders' as a means of teaching the values of equality and tolerance in order to counter social problems such as hate crimes, homophobia and extremism.

He also said that No Outsiders helps builds children's self-esteem and resilience, while preparing them for life in modern Britain and reducing the potential for radicalisation.

Moffat and the No Outsiders programme became the targets of protests and threats at the beginning of 2019. The protesters, most of whom were Muslim, objected to children being taught about LGBT people because they said it went against their religious beliefs.

Moffat dispelled the many myths and misinformation that protestors have circulated about No Outsiders. He brought examples of the story books used in the programme to demonstrate that they are age-appropriate and do not feature any content relating to sex education or any 'hidden agendas'.

He praised Ofsted for its support of No Outsiders, but said unclear guidance from the Department for Education made it extremely difficult to resist pressure from religious lobbyists to stop teaching about families with same-sex parents.

Moffat gave examples of work from pupils demonstrating how effective the programme was in teaching pupils to be kind and respectful to one another, regardless of difference.

Members of the audience expressed their support for Moffat and No Outsiders during the questions and answers session. At the end of the talk, a Muslim family presented him with flowers and a card showing their support and appreciation for the Birmingham schools facing protests for teaching about equality.

The Bradlaugh Lecture provides a space for a distinguished speaker to explore a secularist topic in depth. Find out more.

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Tags: Bradlaugh Lecture, Education, RSE