March 2nd 2020
Dear Dr Crofts,
Thank you for getting in touch. Hopefully I can address some of the concerns you may have in light of the recent media coverage.
The news reports relate to an old sex education policy which dates back more than six years to the previous academy trust. The policy includes a reference to homosexuality and bisexuality which is poorly written and not at all in line with this Trust’s vision and ethos. We have taken legal advice throughout and the paragraph is written in line with government guidance and is not discriminatory, though we accept it could have been written more with more empathy and inclusivity. I need to be clear that a phrase in a policy does not define us and is not representative of who we are or how we operate within our schools.
We are in the process of consulting on a new relationships and sex education policy, in line with the forthcoming DfE guidance coming into effect this September, which will be presented to our Trust board in April and published on our website in due course. If I may, I’d like to provide you with a copy of our new draft policy as soon as it is ready and ask for your feedback as part of the consultation process.
Please be assured that East Midlands Academy Trust is committed to ensuring that our schools are a safe and inclusive learning environment for all pupils, staff and volunteers, and we are strongly opposed to any form of discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexuality or any other characteristic.
We are proud of the diversity of our students and staff, and we are equally proud of the fantastic work that goes on in all our schools to promote and embrace diversity in all forms. You only need to walk through our schools and visit our classrooms to see that we are inclusive, safe and happy places to work and learn. While our chairman of the EMAT board Kevin Crompton has not been chair of the Northamptonshire Children’s Safeguarding Partnership since 2013, he is fully committed to the safeguarding and wellbeing of all children and young people and is keen to see a new policy brought before the board as urgently as possible.
We would be happy to welcome you to any of our schools to see for yourself our approach to relationships and sex education in our diverse and inclusive family of schools.
Chief Executive Officer
East Midlands Academy Trust
55 Barrack Road, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN1 1AA