This morning I was sent a link to a heartening and useful story about Andrew Moffat, a primary school assistant headteacher in Birmingham whose “No Outsiders” policy and lesson plans are bringing the Equality Act to the centre of the school’s ethos and making a big difference. At Parkfield Community School, 23 different nationalities are represented, and the work of Moffat and the whole school ensures that diversity and difference is celebrated, not just in terms of race, religion and colour, but also for sexuality and gender identity.
While I’ve been working on this project, I’ve sensed a fear around what can be taught to or discussed with children in a school or theatre context as being opposed to what a child might learn at home. There’s a clear anxiety around whether we have the right to promote ideas that may counter those expressed by a child’s family. Will it be damaging or confusing to a child if we make a show that says it’s OK to be gay if the audience then goes home to a setting that is against homosexuality for example?