Statement on Anderton Park injunction ruling

Following today’s ruling that the injunction preventing protests immediately outside the school remains in place, Birmingham City Council has issued the following statement.

Dr Tim O’Neill, director of education and skills, said:

“We are really pleased for the pupils, staff, parents and wider community that the injunction has been upheld.

“This was always about protecting the school and community from the escalating levels of anti-social behaviour of the protests, not about trying to stop peaceful protest.

“As this court case has demonstrated, there remains a gap between the reality of what is and isn’t being taught at the school. Protests of this kind only serve to attract fringe elements whose aim is to stoke division and hatred. We would therefore continue to encourage any concerned parents to engage with the school to have constructive discussions and address any issues.

“Looking ahead, it is important to remember that the Department for Education is introducing compulsory relationships education next year, helping children from all backgrounds understand the society they are growing up in, and fostering respect for others and for difference.

“This will include consultation with parents, giving them space to share concerns and ask questions, and allowing the school to listen to parents’ views, though ultimately the school will decide on how this part of the curriculum is taught. It is really important therefore that we support and create opportunities to have open dialogue at all our schools across the city.

“Birmingham is diverse and inclusive – these are its strengths – and we must all come together to ensure all children get the best education possible and are able to fully engage in all aspects of their life  in this wonderful city and country. To this end the city council will continue to work with the school to look at the best way to resolve any ongoing concerns.

“The city council will always stand up for the rights of all children, whoever they are and whatever family they are from.

“Thanks must go to everyone involved in bringing this case to court and for the school staff, pupils, parents and wider community for their patience as we took the painstaking steps to ensure the case would be successful.”

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