Over 100 school policies identified that mention something on “not promoting sexual orientation”, many also include “that would be inappropriate teaching.”


I just did this google search (more info on this non-systematic search strategy can be found here), in the first 32 pages I identified OVER 100 school policies that include words to the effect of the DfE 2000 Guidance which states several times.

“It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or

sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching.”

I do not have time to go through all 138,000 google hits in that search but I am betting that hundreds and hundreds of schools include versions of this phrase.

After all these school policies are only following the exact wording from the guidance of the department for education.

Can we blame them?

These policies (and the more serious ones where “homosexuality is not allowed to be promoted“), and government guidance have create school cultures where homophobia and transphobia can thrive, and teachers are scared to challenge it lest they be accused of “promotion”.

The DfE are trying to spin it that they meant not promoting one sexual orientation (heterosexuality) over any other. We know they did not. The evidence from this post and this one shows just how little they care about students who are LGBT whatever noises they are currently making in the current media furore.

We cannot let them continue to get away with this. We cannot. I want my children to learn in an environment where they understand that everyone is equal and that differences are to be respected.

To do otherwise fails another generation.

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5 thoughts on “Over 100 school policies identified that mention something on “not promoting sexual orientation”, many also include “that would be inappropriate teaching.”

  1. We’ve had almost a decade since repeal, why can’t we blame them now? If the organisation of the system is such that in ten years nothing has changed really should the system not bear the brunt of the blame.

    I don’t think for a second that teachers are to blame here at all, but headteachers, principals, governors they are all culpable in this and it’s a massive scale abuse of children’s rights.

  2. I’m wondering if you may on the wrong track. The search as you specify it will return any page that simply contains those words somewhere on the page, in any order.

    If you put quote marks round the words (and delete ‘SRE policy’ because it’s not necessary), you get six results, all related to this blog. I’ve tried adding in the hyphen (dash), but it makes no difference.

    The guidance document you linked to actually says ‘this would be inappropriate teaching’, not ‘that would be inappropriate teaching’, but this seems to make no difference either.

    Actually, I’ve just realised that copying and pasting the phrase directly from the document (I’m not sure what the difference is – it may be to do with the em dash/hyphen):

    “It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching”

    …and searching for that returns 74 results or 748 results with possible duplicates included.

    But because you say you found 100 schools in the first 32 pages (how many results per page?), there is something amiss here.

    Another tip: if you want to return only pdf documents, you should add filetype:pdf to the Google search.

    I think this needs a bit more investigation!

    • I am on very limited time as I am supposed to be writing a masters on this very subject at the min. Agreed it is not a very systematic formal review method as I do not have capacity. My approach was to count any hit as any school policy which included phrases along the lines of “not promoting sexual orientation” and or “innapropriate teaching” (although “” within this comment I did not “” the search terms as the exact terms as that would obviously have limited my results as you say. I definitely counted up to 100 before I got fed up and blogged about it! (I know how to .pdf but for some reason didn’t rarely some policies are word docs or available as full text online) I did not include any policies that did not include a version of this DfE phrase within it (some had tweaked it to be something inclusive for example) but admittedly I did not closely scrutinise every policy for the exact term just that they had a version of this phrase in it.

      I would LOVE for someone to systematically record all the policies with versions of this phrase from the DfE in as obviously it is a much stronger case than my quick and unformal google search.

      You offering?! 😀

  3. Pingback: A quick recap on this equalities and school policies issue so far. | SexEdUKation

  4. Pingback: Keeping an “Up to date SRE policy” is enshrined in law- don’t use “it was an old policy” as an excuse for s28 style policies. | SexEdUKation

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