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Jewish school faces closure over failure to teach LGBT issues

2017-06-27
A private faith school in North London has failed three Ofsted inspections in the last year over its failure to teach pupils about homosexuality. The Telegraph reports that Vishnitz Girls School in Stoke Newington failed the inspections for not providing “a full understanding of fundamental British values”. A failure to teach pupils about sexual orientation is a breach of equality laws. Inspectors reported that a failure to address LGBT+ issues “restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles.” The report goes on to say that the school's actions leave pupils "shielded from learning about certain differences between people, such as sexual orientation.” However, the report does assert that the school's culture is "clearly focused on teaching pupils to respect everybody, regardless of beliefs and lifestyle." The school acknowledges that "they do not teach pupils about all the protected characteristics, particularly those relating to gender re-assignment and sexual orientation. “This means that pupils have a limited understanding of the different lifestyles and partnerships that individuals may choose in present-day society.” Schools that do not support the“spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils” face closure if they do not show improvement. Elsewhere in the report, the school received praise from inspectors, with teachers showing “good subject knowledge and high-quality classroom resources”. Private schools like Vishnitz do not have to adhere to the same curriculum as state schools, but they have an obligation under the Department of Education and Ofsted to address aspects of sex and relationships. Gill Robins ofthe Christians in Education campaign group came to the defense of the school, writing: “It’s now been made crystal clear by Ofsted that the Equality Act is actually hierarchical, with sexual orientation and gender reassignment at the apex of the Act. “All equalities are equal but some equalities are more equal than others. “Ofsted has revealed its true agenda. It doesn’t matter how good your school is in all other respects – simply refusing to teach very young children about gender reassignment will lead to your closure.” More stories: Sesame Street puts on a colourful show of support for LGBT Pride month Will & Grace revival will address the finale time jump, says creator