Headteacher of Tasker Milward apologises for outdated policy on homosexuality left on school website
12:36pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
THE headteacher of Tasker Milward School has said she “cannot not apologise enough” for an administrative error that meant outdated policy on homosexuality was left on the school’s website.
The school was one of two in Wales identified as a “high concern” in a report by the British Humanist Association as having “sex and relationships education policies that either replicate section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 or are unhelpfully vague on the issue”.
The part in question read: “Section 28 of the Local Government Action [act] does not prevent teachers from addressing issues of homosexuality in the classroom in a neutral and unbiased manner; however, the LA [local authority] shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material which actively promotes homosexuality.”
Section 28, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher's government, was repealed in England and Wales in 2003 following years of protest by gay rights and equality campaigners.
Headteacher Mrs Haynes: “We are very distressed that anyone may have been hurt or upset by us inadvertently leaving an old policy on our website.
“It has not been part of school protocol and policy for years.”
She added that the school’s equal opportunity policy ‘aims to promote equality and opportunity among all members of the school community regardless of race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, disability or nationality’.
The offending document had now been removed from the school’s website.
A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said: “The Sex Education policy on the Tasker Milward school website was an old policy not in operation and which had not been deleted.
“The school does have a current Strategic Equality Plan, further details of which can be obtained directly from the school.”
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said all schools will now be reminded of their responsibilities on the matter.
"All children and young people in Wales should receive inclusive sex and relationships education. It is extremely important that young people are taught in a way that does not subject them to discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 is very clear on this.
"Our guidance to schools provides definitive advice to schools about the teaching of all aspects of relationships and specific sexual health and well-being issues such as sexual orientation.
"Teachers should deal with sexual orientation honestly, sensitively and in a non-judgemental way. The needs of every learner must be met and schools should encourage open discussion, promote inclusion and challenge inequalities.”
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