. I'm the one to blame, apparently it's outrageous that I should want a more open and frank discussion about sexual matters in schools.
Alastair Campbell’s long-term partner, Fiona Millar, started an organisation called Local Schools Network, its purpose being to promote the wonders of state schools and undermine the credentials of free schools. However, it is heading into controversial territory. In an essay on the organisation’s website, co-founder Francis Gilbert says “schools should offer pupils the chance to discuss things like masturbation, sexual fantasies, pornography and so forth”. Gilbert, a parent, teacher and author, appeared on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour a week ago, on the same show in which Tracey Emin asked presenter Jenni Murray impertinently about her private sexual habits. “It was electrifying radio,” he said.This is not the first salvo on sex education between the state and free school tribes. Gilbert’s comments follow a row over Stoke Newington School’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Week, which involved Year 8 students making banners for a march in Clissold Park. Toby Young, who is founding a free school in Hammersmith, ridiculed it as “the crazy excesses of contemporary state education”. As the tribes slug it out over policies, can the Londoner offer a suggestion? As a former contributor to pornographic magazine Forum, perhaps Alastair Campbell can be persuaded to preside over sex education classes.