January 25, 2011

IconLGBT lessons planned for History Month

Teachers will be encouraged to integrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues into school classes in a scheme to be launched during LGBT History Month. Lesson plans will be made available to every school in the country from February. The £35,000 initiative is funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

The lessons – aimed at children in every level of education – will integrate LGBT issues into subjects such as maths, geography, science and modern languages. They have been written by teachers and are are being promoted by Schools Out, an organisation that has piloted similar campaigns on a local level during the past few years. The Department for Education is backing the scheme.

The plan to promote LGBT-themed lessons has attracted criticism from Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips and conservative lobby groups such as the TaxPayer’s Alliance and the Christian Institute.

Sue Sanders from Schools Out responded to the criticism. “All we are attempting to do is remind teachers that LGBT people are part of the population and you can include them in most of your lessons when you are thinking inclusively.”

The scheme has also been defended by David Watkins, one of the teachers involved in drawing up the lesson plans. “We just want lessons that don’t ignore that there are lesbian and gay people who suffer from issues and problems. When you have a maths problem, why does it have to involve a straight family or a boyfriend and girlfriend? Why not two boys or two girls?”

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Ruth Pearce

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