New regulations about LGBTQ+ inclusive education means UK schools that fail to teach students about LGBTQ+ matters risk being marked down by Ofsted inspectors. Ofsted officials said they will comment on whether schools have ‘adequate plans’ in place to implement the new curricula. According to new education regulations, schools will have to teach students topics ranging from consent to pornography.
It was confirmed in 2019 that LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching would become official regulation, but this is the first academic year where the new rules will be enforced. Recent studies by Kantar have demonstrated nearly half of UK parents had reservations about young children being taught about LGBTQ+ topics, with four out of 10 saying they would not want a six-year-old child to be taught that ‘it’s okay to be gay’. Craig Watkins, UK chief executive of Kantar’s public division, told Reuters the study shows ‘social progress is not guaranteed’ even though ‘we have come a long way’.
Mo Wiltshire of Stonewall believes the changes to UK education will be ‘life changing’. They suggested that ‘young people attending schools that accept LGBTQ+ people’ will alleviate bullying and encourage more progressive attitudes towards the queer community.
Autumn 2020 Ofsted inspections will commence this September as the new curricula is integrated into UK school systems.