Parkfield School: Protests called off as LGBT lessons ended

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The entrance to Parkfield Community School
Image caption,
Parkfield Community School previously said it had no plans to change its teaching

A school at the centre of a row about teaching LGBT rights says it will not resume the lessons until a resolution has been reached with angry parents.

Weekly protests against the classes have been held outside the gates of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.

After a meeting on Tuesday, the school said it wanted to continue working with parents to "find a solution".

Parents welcomed the decision and called off planned protests.

The school denied an earlier suspension of the lessons was a U-turn, saying it had always planned to stop the 'No Outsiders' project at half-term.

But the decision made after Tuesday's meeting means they will be stopped indefinitely.

Image caption,
Parents have been gathering outside the school for weekly protests

On Tuesday, Ofsted defended the school and said the lessons, which teach about race, religion, gender identity, age and disabilities as well as LGBT issues, were "age-appropriate".

The education watchdog did however recommend the outstanding-rated school "develops its engagement with parents" so they understand how curriculum content is taught.

Protestors branded the 'No Outsiders' programme as "toxic" and at one rally a man labelled it "aggressive indoctrination".

Parkfield Parents' Community Group, which has organised the protests, welcomed the decision that the lessons would not continue.

The group called off a rally planned for later and said it would "review our actions with respect to protests and school-wide withdrawal of children".

Image caption,
During previous protests, parents tied signs to iron railings outside the primary school

A parent at the school gates, who did not wish to be named, supported the agreement.

"Of course we aren't against equality, the problem was too much emphasis on the LGBT side," they said.

The school said it would be meeting with parents again over the coming weeks and added: "Nothing is more important than ensuring our children's education continues uninterrupted".

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