Birmingham & Black Country

Anti-homophobia classes sparked row at Trojan school, union says

Welford Primary School Birmingham Image copyright Google
Image caption Welford Primary School was inspected by Ofsted earlier this year during its investigations into the so-called Trojan Horse controversy

A confrontation between parents and the head of one of the so-called Trojan Horse schools was over the introduction of an anti-homophobia programme, a teaching union has claimed.

Jamie Barry, from Welford Primary School in Birmingham, was confronted by about 15 parents last Friday.

Rob Kelsall, from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), is calling for a "thorough investigation".

The council said parents could not "pick and choose" the curriculum.

Welford Primary School was one of 21 schools inspected by Ofsted earlier this year during its so-called Trojan Horse investigations.

'Direct attack'

In March an anonymous and unverified letter sent to Birmingham City Council claimed there was a conspiracy to take over governing bodies and create a school culture more sympathetic to a hardline Muslim religious ethos.

In July, former counter-terror chief Peter Clarke found evidence of an "aggressive Islamist agenda".

Mr Kelsall said, as a result of those findings, Welford was one of several primary schools in the city to introduce a programme challenging homophobia.

"As a result, a small minority of parents have taken objections to this and remonstrated with the head teacher," he said.

About 100 people went to a forum on Friday and confronted Mr Barry, he said.

West Midlands Police officers were called to assist. According to colleagues, the teacher had to be escorted from the building "for his own safety".

"There was a concerted effort and very aggressive start to this meeting, which was a very direct and personal attack on the head teacher," Mr Kelsall said.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said it was looking into what happened.

"We are concerned that parents are objecting to elements of the equalities and diversity agenda which forms part of the... curriculum.

"It is not acceptable for parents to pick and choose between aspects of this agenda."

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