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Corbyn wanted schools to teach LGBT history and education but Tories vote to block it

Tories vote to block compulsory LGBT-inclusive sex education
This is 2017, not 1950's.

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Education Secretary Justine Greening has repeatedly suggested she is open to reform on sex and relationship education, hinting last summer that the issue was near the top of her “in tray”.

An all-female group of MPs led by Labour’s Stella Creasy this week attempted to secure reform on the issue, tabling an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill to make lessons on “sex and relationships education, same-sex relationships, sexual consent, sexual violence, and domestic violence” mandatory in all schools.

The law would require education watchdog Ofsted to evaluate school’s provisions on SRE as part of inspections, considering “whether the information provided to pupils is accurate and balanced, age-appropriate, inclusive, or religiously diverse”.

However, the amendment was shot down by the government in a public bill committee, where Tories held 10 of the 15 votes.

The vote was divided 10-5 down party lines, with all 10 of the Conservative MPs on the committee voting to block the SRE amendment, while all five Labour MPs supported it. No other party was represented on the bill committee.

The Conservative MP for North Dorset, Simon Hoare, said the amendment did not afford enough protections for faith schools who oppose homosexuality.

Speaking at Pink News awards, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says the government should apologise to men prosecuted for their sexuality and that Labour would add LGBT history to the school curriculum.

A Labour government would make sure children are taught about LGBT history and the significance of figures such as the mathematician Alan Turing as part of the school curriculum, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader made the promise at an awards dinner hosted by Pink News, where he also said the state should apologise to gay men such as Turing who were prosecuted for sexual acts that are no longer criminal which were another policy blocked by the Tories.

In a speech, he said the state needed to intervene and provide education about the history of gay rights to help stop homophobia in society.

“I firmly believe the role of government is to challenge the environment where hate festers, and that begins with education. Because of the more we know, the less we fear,” he said.

Corbyn pledged that the next Labour government would change the curriculum to “reflect LGBT figures and the fight for LGBT rights, so young people would understand how these rights are achieved”.

“Imagine this embedded in the heart of school curriculum. Our children would be learning about the brilliant mathematician Alan Turing, whose contribution did so much to bring the second world war to an end.”

So why do the Tories keep blocking these pro-LGBT policies? 

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