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This London primary school's diversity march proves you're never too young to learn about love and equality

Children at Clapham Manor Primary School took part in a colourful parade after learning about the Equality Act this term.

2019-07-19

Words: Will Stroude

As ugly protests continue to rage outside several schools across the UK over the inclusion of LGBTQ people and families in lessons about equality, one primary school in London has demonstrated perfectly why kids are never too young to learn that everyone is deserving of love and respect.

Children at Clapham Manor Primary School took part in a colourful diversity march celebrating last Friday (12 July) to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots after learning about the Equality Act during the summer term.

After holding a similar march last summer to commemorate The Suffragettes, this year pupils in Years 3-6 were encourages to design their own posters and banners promoting LGBTQ inclusion as the school's 450-strong student body marched from Clapham Manor to Clapham Common for an equality party.

Image courtesy of Clapham Manor Primary School

The subsequent event in the park saw Year 6 students deliver speeches about inclusion and Year 5 students play steel drums.

The march was also attended by teachers, parents and carers at Clapham Manor - which has been rated 'Outstanding' by Oftsted - as well as YouTuber, author and LGBTQ activist Olly Pike, who had been holding workshops at the school in the run-up to the big day.

Year 1 teacher and Early Years Leader David Pittard, who helped organise the diversity march, commented: "I’m proud of all our children, teachers, parents and carers for marching and showing how much we celebrate the diversity of our community.

Image courtesy of Clapham Manor Primary School

"While many other schools are facing negativity about LGBTQ+ inclusion and we see so many stories of discrimination in the media, seeing the children speak so passionately about equality gives me a lot of hope that their generation will make even bigger changes possible."

Parent Alex Patrick, who was in attendance on the day, praised the school for tackling diversity and equality teaching, commenting: "I am so happy my child attends a school which welcomes diversity. The march was a wonderful occasion.

 

Image courtesy of Clapham Manor Primary School

"It showed our children that they are all equal, all important and all part of our community. I was really moved by the positivity, kindness, acceptance and joy on the march. The children had created beautiful artworks about themselves, sang songs and chanted about equality for everyone."

In a statement, the school said: "Clapham Manor Primary School is proud to be different. We celebrate that our community is diverse and unique, and every one of us is different.

Image courtesy of Clapham Manor Primary School

"We have different families, abilities, and have links to places all over the world. We all look different, have different faiths or no faith and are different ages and genders.

"We might not always agree, but we are respectful of everyone, no matter how different we may be."

The inclusive display comes as several schools in Birmingham continue to face homophobic protests from parents and others over including LGBTQ families in their teaching of the Equality Act.

The gay teacher who started the 'No Outsiders' lesson programme currently being subject to much of the backlash, Andrew Moffat, was recently honoured at the Attitude Pride Awards - you can read more about his story here.