Sex and Relationship Education

From Leader magazine - 2020 Spring Term 1

In November, the High Court handed down its judgment in relation to an application for an injunction by Birmingham City Council, preventing protests in the vicinity outside of Anderton Park School. The school had previously been subject to a number of weeks of protest due to its curriculum that includes reference to the Equality Act and the various protected characteristics. Ultimately, the High Court granted the injunction and dismissed the protestors’ claims about discrimination and breach of human rights. The court did not continue the element of the interim injunction that covered social media.

This judgment will be of assistance to other schools that have previously suffered similar protests because of actual or perceived curriculum teaching. While this decision was based on the facts of the case, including what was being taught and the actions by some of the protestors, some of the comments by Mr Justice Warby are helpful to other schools teaching similar curriculums. He concluded, “The matters that have actually been taught are limited, and lawful” and that the actual teaching was “at odds with much of what has been said about the teaching in the evidence of parents”. The protestors had argued that the teaching amounted to “indoctrination”, which was dismissed.

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