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‘No Outsiders’ Creator Andrew Moffat ‘In Two Minds’ About Decision To Temporarily Suspend Lessons

The Assistant Head of Parkfield School has told Being LGBTQ he’s ‘in two minds’ about whether suspending equality education lessons for a time last term was the right decision.

Andrew Moffat says it was a “really difficult time for us, and for me especially when those decisions were being made”, adding “it’s what we did and what that showed was we were willing to listen and willing to engage”.

The school in Birmingham came under immense pressure when protests against the equality lessons, which includes LGBTQ people, started outside the school.

Large protests of hundreds of people shouting and holding anti-gay signs went on for most of the school term, much of which was directed at Mr Moffat personally and even included death threats.

Parkfield decided to suspend the ‘No Outsiders’ lessons after what it calls “advice and pressure” from the Department of Education, who have been criticised for not doing enough to help schools during the protests.

Following the suspension of ‘No Outsiders’ at Parkfield, protests spread to Anderton Park, another school in Birmingham teaching similar lessons and even as far as the North West, with some claiming the spread was as a result of the suspension.

Anderton Park which is council ran went as far as to get an injunction from the High Court (which was granted) to prevent protests directly outside the school gates.

Parkfield was not included in that as the school is academy rather than council ran.

Reflecting on the term Moffat said the huge outpouring of support from strangers made him “stronger” and shared a story from the last day of term, when a Muslim Mum bought him a box of chocolates!

Moffat said: “That box of chocolates meant the world to me and I think oh my goodness, that was a Mum, a Muslim Mum and she’s seen what’s been going on and she chose to buy me a box of chocolates.

“So for me that just shows there are parents who aren’t supportive but there are many who are supportive. So if ever I have a bad moment about going back, I just think of those chocolates”.

Meanwhile LGBTQ advocates in the area are beginning to prepare for the start of the new school year in September, as protesters have promised they will continue their demonstrations.

Listen to Andrew’s full interview with Being LGBTQ, on episode 31 of our podcast:

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