The No Outsiders programme has for 4 years, taught children that everyone is welcome. It’s been pioneered by one of the greatest schools in the country, at the heart of our community in Birmingham.
As the dad of three children, I know that sex and relationship education is always a subject in which parents rightfully take a close interest – and of course have the option to remove their children from sex education lessons if they wish. Wise schools involve their parents upfront in the development of teaching material, and this is exactly what Parkfield has done every step of the way.
Birmingham was built by people from all walks of life, coming together to live, love, work and build an amazing community. That’s why we believe in “No Outsiders”. There are LGBT people of every race, faith and community. It is our responsibility to let these children know that there is nothing wrong with them. Our goal is to build a city where we support each other in flourishing, feeling safe from fear, hatred and disrespect. And that’s what makes us the greatest city in the world.
We note and welcome that Cllr Idrees issued the following statement this morning:-
Many of you will have seen media reports over the weekend regarding the No Outsiders programme at Parkfield Community School and I wish to apologise for my comments to the Birmingham Mail.
I overstepped the mark in my efforts to state the views of some of the parents, but I fully support Birmingham City Council’s policies in relation LGBT issues. I got it wrong and have already apologised to the Leader of the Council and to the chief whip this morning.
No Outsiders is a programme that has clearly upset some parents – with some threatening to take their children out of school. That is clearly something we all want to avoid and I want to work with both the school and the parents to help us reach a better understanding.
I have never had a problem with the LGBT community and I am proud that Birmingham is an inclusive and tolerant city and there is no place here for homophobia or any other form of discrimination.
The best way to reach an understanding on this issue is to talk and I’m determined to work with both the school and the parents on this.
Councillor Mohammed Idrees
Alum Rock Ward”