A UK Government Petition calling for LGBTQ+ content to be kept on the curriculum for Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) has passed 15,000 signatures, and now awaits a Government response.
The petition, published by Dan McCarthy on the UK Government Petition website, states "We believe kids should learn about this at an early age. I am sure there are many parents who want their and other children taught about LGBT issues in primary school", and was set up in response to a petition calling to scrap LGBTQ+ topics from the SRE curriculum. At the time of writing, the original petition by Fares Rehmani has almost reached 200,000 signatures calling to remove inclusive materials.
The Government is required to respond to petitions after 10,000 signatures, and after 100,000 signatures a debate on the petition must be held in Westminster Hall (not to be confused with the House of Commons). During the course of the debate, MPs will contest the motion "This House has considered [petition]" and make their statements, although it should be noted that no vote on the petition is held. The purpose of the Westminster Hall debate is to enable MPs who are sympathetic to the petition to be able to ask the Government to consider it. However, to date there are few - if any - examples of the Government implementing policies that have come through on petitions that weren't already Government policy.
The largest petitions - 1.3m signatures to prevent the proroguing of Parliament, 4m signatures in favour of a second referendum, and 1.8m signatures against Donald Trump making a state visit to the UK - all failed to achieve the policy outcome in mind. It is thus unlikely that the petition to scrap LGBTQ+ inclusive education will result in any policy changes. However, it is likely to be used by opponents of inclusive education as evidence that a plurality of people support them, and will attempt to lobby MPs into supporting them.
Last week, myGwork announced the myGwork Academy, to build inclusive cultures. In addition to being a hub for workplaces to provide diversity and inclusion training to their staff, the Academy also functions to enable LGBTQ+ inclusive educational materials to be offered to students, to help train the allies of tomorrow. You can check the myGwork Academy out here.