Academies: Scrap your Section 28 Rule!
  • Petitioned Mrs R Robinson, BA
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Headteacher of Swindon Academy
Mrs R Robinson, BA
See response
Headteacher of Colston Girl's School
Mr A Perry
Principal of WHGS Academy
Peter Mulholland
Principal of Stockport Academy
Frank McCarron
Executive Principal
See response
Secretary of State for Education
Michael Gove

Academies: Scrap your Section 28 Rule!

    1. Benali Hamdache
    2. Petition by

      Benali Hamdache

      London, United Kingdom

Under the freedom granted to Academies and the lack of a national curriculum on Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) several schools have retained or reintroduced their own version of Section 28. We have found multiple schools still using SRE policies which ban the promotion of homosexuality. Stirling work by the British Humanists Association has found that fourty four schools still have such outdated homophobic policy in place. The full details are available here:

Each have in place (or until very recently) Section 28 style policy. Section 28 was an incredibly harmful rule introduced under Thatcher's government that banned the "promotion of homosexuality". In the SRE policy the rules state "The Governing Body will not permit the promotion of homosexuality." 

Section 28 had devastating effects as it left teachers effectively gagged. It meant they were unable to tackle homophobic bullying, unable to provide sexual education for gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers or for some teachers it meant they could not be open about their own sexuality.

It's been suggested that this documentation could be a result of Place Group, a service provider that updates school's policies, failing to update school policies, as detailed here:

If so it's a troubling oversight that has left schools with homophobic policy and a lack of support for LGBT students. It's clear that pressure must be put in place on these academies to update their policy as well as Department of Education to bring in mandatory Sex and Relationship Education that is supportive of LGBT students.


Siobhan MacMahon, spokesperson for the LGBTIQ Green Party Group, condemned the policy. “This is a deeply worrying development. With the scrapping of Section 28 tackling homophobic bullying in schools has finally started to progress. Hearing that schools still have their own Section 28 rule is a damaging step backwards. It’s clear that there should be a national mandatory curriculum ensuring that every school gives students the information they need about sex and sexuality. The freedom granted to Academies and Free Schools to introduce such homophobic policy leaves LGBT students out in the cold. School must be a safe space for LGBT students and teachers, the reintroduction of Section 28s does not allow for that.”


Since our petition a number of schools have withdrawn the document with outdated Section 28 style policy. Excellent work!


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 7,000 signatures
    2. Decision-maker E-ACT responds:


      E-ACT wish to make clear we do not promote or practice any discrimination in any form. It was a genuine and very regrettable oversight that the old policy was mistakenly on the Crests’ website. The policy is no longer online.

      The poli...

    3. Reached 6,000 signatures
    4. Decision-maker Mrs R Robinson, BA responds:

      Mrs R Robinson, BA

      Dear ,

      Thank you for taking the time to email me/sign the petition concerning our Sex and Relationships policy.

      Obviously we take this very seriously and I am sorry if anyone has taken any offence or misinterpreted a par...

    5. Reached 4,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Philip Bennison LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      Silly question... why WOUDLN'T this be important to everyone?

    • shelley lloyd RISE PARK, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 9 months ago

      i am a homosexual student currently residing in the United Kingdom

      • 9 months ago

      I go to a college where I feel safe expressing my bisexuality. However, it's unfair to these kids who go to academies and may be gay as they have to hide their true self.

      • 10 months ago

      Because we are all human beings and need to be treated as such, we are all equal!

      • 10 months ago

      I feel strongly about equaility and every person has the right to be themselves without living with ridicule and fear.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.