Four and five year olds are too young to learn about LGBT issues, according to the MP for the area where a primary school is facing daily protests over equality teaching.
Roger Godsiff is MP for Birmingham Hall Green, which includes the Muslim-majority Anderton Primary School that has seen weeks of demonstrations.
Protesters say the lessons at the Sparkhill school are intolerant of Islamic beliefs and are “indoctrinating” children by teaching them about same-sex relationships and gender identity.
The school insists it is only following curriculum guidance which encourages primary schools to teach pupils about different families, including same-sex parents.
In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, Mr Godsiff said he met representatives from both sides and admitted he has “concerns” about the appropriateness of the content of the lessons.
He said: “As a parent wrote, some are just out of nappies. I think it is more appropriate at age seven, or six.
“Of course if a child asks the teacher questions about someone with two mummies it’s right for the teacher to respond, I would not want them to lie.
The parents who say their kids are being ‘indoctrinated’ by UK schools
Parents have been demonstrating for weeks outside their children’s schools in Birmingham because they’re unhappy that children are being taught it is okay to be gay
“If the child raises it they are being inquisitive, that’s fine but I do question the appropriateness of the teaching of it [LGBT issues].”
His comments come just a day after fellow Birmingham Labour MP Jess Phillips insisted the protesters “do not represent Birmingham” and could not “pick and choose” which equality they could and could not have.
However, Mr Godsiff insisted headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, who has faced calls to resign over the sandal, has his full support.
The MP said: “I support the headteacher, absolutely, I support all teachers and public sector workers.
“I am clear that parents do not have a right to veto what is taught in schools on equality.
“But the minister (Education Secretary Damian Hinds) has said time and again, including when speaking to the House of Commons, he’s referred to age-appropriate.
“To quote his words, when children leave to go to secondary school they should have a knowledge of the different lifestyles and LGBT.”
Mr Godsiff suggested more discussions were needed to reassure parents and prevent flashpoints following claims protesters have been intimidating teachers and other parents.
He told the newspaper: “I think while there is such an excitable element that exists, then a period of calm would be a good idea.
“Anything that exacerbates tensions is not to be welcomed. Calm needs to prevail and those leading mediation allowed to do their work.”