South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has backed LGBT-inclusive education in schools and says the bullying LGBT children suffer is 'something we need to address'.
Speaking at The Whitehouse Consultancy’s ‘Lessons from Labour’ event on Wednesday evening, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, former shadow minister of state for children and families, and Mike Kane MP, shadow minister of state for schools, encouraged the introduction of inclusive education in schools, including those of faith.
This is despite widespread protests over the ‘No Outsiders’ programme at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham last month.
Emma Lewell-Buck said: “The bullying and the harm that LGBT children suffer, and the mental health issues that come as a result, is something we need to address.
"I can’t help thinking that, perhaps, if the protesters outside that school had these lessons in their youth, then they might not have been protesting. We want the next generation to understand.”
In March, MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of LGBT inclusive relationship and sex education for schools in England.
The bill, which was backed by 538 MPs and brought forward by Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds MP, ensures children are taught about the different family models from primary school age. The measure was opposed by 21 MPs.
Mike Kane said: “I praise Nick Gibb and Damien Hinds over this, and we supported them in introducing that legislation and voting it through the House of Commons. This curriculum is inclusive and for most professionals, including faith-based schools, they say it is appropriate.”
Parents at the Birmingham primary school staged several weeks of protests, opposing LGBT-inclusive relationships education, some of whom accused the school of “promoting homosexuality”.
Labour MP, Shabana Mahmood, also faced widespread backlash after she flagged concerns about the lessons, criticising their ‘age-appropriateness’.
Mike Kane added: “It was the right thing to do to attach the amendment for inclusive education, and in the end it was very good cross-party working.”
Stonewall, a leading LGBT charity in the UK, recently spoke out against the “misinformation” being spread about LGBT-inclusive education, stating that: “While we have made huge progress, we can’t lose ground on this now.”