Government ministers have ordered an investigation into claims that some schools have been reviving 'section 28' – the controversial rule which bans the promotion of homosexuality in the classroom.
The law was a clause in the Local Government Act 1988 introduced by Margaret Thatcher's administration. It was repealed by Tony Blair in 2003, after being widely blamed for inciting discrimination against homosexuals.
The Mail reports that the British Humanist Association has research which 'suggests that at least 44 schools and academy groups in England have sex and relationship education policies that either echo the controversial clause or appear not to be aware that it had been repealed'.
It claims that ministers are 'concerned' and that officials are looking into the schools in question.
Schools on the list include the Grace Academies, three schools in the West Midlands. The establishments bill themselves as having a 'Christian ethos', and states in its policy that: 'Objective discussion of homosexuality may take place in the classroom, including discussion of homophobic behaviour' but also that 'the governing body will not permit the promotion of homosexuality.'
The paper also reports that two single-sex schools in North West London run by The Crest Academies also bans the 'promotion of homosexuality'.
The DfE told the Mail that singling out homosexuality was 'unacceptable' and that although 'all schools can draw up their own sex education policy' they must 'ensure they do not discriminate unfairly on grounds of sexual orientation'.