The Local Schools Network makes it into the Evening Standard

Francis Gilbert's picture
Interesting that the LSN has made it into the Evening Standard today. 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.

Here's the piece in full for your delectation:

Fiona’s website wants more sex talk 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.


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Anonymous student's picture
Thu, 26/05/2011 - 20:06

This is ridiculous. The Reading School (and Kendrick School) selection process has nothing to do with wealth or background. They select students, like myself, based purely on ability and intelligence. If they kept up their outstanding level of teaching, but allowed in students that would otherwise not have got in, those students would find it hard to cope, and would fall behind, until they decide that they have to move to a different school.

In an unrelated story, parents whose kids didn't get in to the England football team are unhappy that Fabio Capello is allowed to select players for the team PURELY on the basis of footballing ability. It's ''social apartheid'' if you ask me. Most of them aren't even getting free meals!!!

An idea's picture
Thu, 26/05/2011 - 20:11

Wrong thread?

Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 27/05/2011 - 07:00

The Evening Standard makes a common error: that discussing issues frankly (such as pornography) encourages its use. If this were true, then discussing other issues - such as Nazism, racism, terrorism - would encourage support for these.

Discussing something does not imply approval.

Pupils need space in which to discuss sensitive issues with trusted adults.

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