Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Dover school still endorsing anti-gay legislation

I'm shocked that years after many of us fought Kent County Council's version of Section 28, the legislation that stopped teachers discussing same-sex relationships as being acceptable and normal (see below). The Harbour School still refers to Section 28 in its policy despite it being repealed in 2003, ten years ago!

The school has been outed by the British Humanist Association as one of 45 schools around the country that have these discrimatory policies still in place. The school should be ashamed of itself and I have written to their head teacher asking them to remove the section of their policy and reeducate their staff. The policy is in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

This is the text of my email to

Dear Mrs Baker,

Your school is one of 45 around the country that is still quoting the Section 28 anti-gay legislation that was repealed 10 years ago. I hope that this policy is a mistake and that you are taking rapid steps to change it and to educate your staff accordingly. I suggest that any other course of action would continue to be discriminatory towards gay and lesbian people - clearly illegal under the Equality Act 2010.

I would be grateful if you would confirm whether it is your intention to make these changes and by when.


Stuart Jeffery

This is the excerpt from the schools policy (as at 21st Aug 2013):

Local Government Act, 1988
Section 28 requires that -
A Local Authority shall not -
1 (a) Intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality;
(b) Promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.
2 Nothing in subsection (1) above shall be taken to prohibit the doing of anything for the purpose of treating or preventing the spread of disease.
3 In any proceedings in connection with the application of this section a court shall draw such inferences as to the intention of the local authority as may reasonably be drawn from the evidence before it.

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