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Past event

Religion and Sexuality Education: Where are we now?

This event has now been postponed. To be kept updated on when this will be reschedule for, please email

In early 2019, a group of Muslim parents in Birmingham gathered to protest against ‘No Outsiders’, a programme promoting LGBT inclusive primary schools. The ongoing controversy and its circulation in popular news media has created widespread uncertainty over whether the new, enriched relationships and sex education (RSE) curriculum can be adequately delivered amongst many competing voices and contested claims to sexual and religious rights. In these highly charged debates, the voices of religious and LGBT individuals and communities are marshalled to make various political claims across the broad spectrum of opinion.

In light of this complexity, it has never been more important that teachers, community leaders, religious groups and rights activists enter into constructive dialogue with those researching the complex intersections between religion, sexuality, gender, childhood, youth and education. There is a pressing need to make sense of these many competing voices and chart a way forward towards democratic and equitable RSE.

This conference will address issues around RSE and religion both within and beyond the Birmingham protests. We will review what has changed since the last conference and re-address new and old challenges faced by school staff and teachers as the RSE curriculum rolls out next year. As before, the event aims for both scholarly rigour and practical usefulness. In dialogue with cutting-edge research, we will address the dissensus that arises at multiple levels, from policy formation through to parental consultation and pedagogical practice. We also aim to connect these important discussions with those who face the challenges and opportunities of cultural diversity daily.

In light of this, we invite presentations from academics, ECRs and doctoral students including but not limited to the following areas of interest:

• Pedagogical approaches that foster religion-sensitive and/or decolonising sexuality             education

• Research on religious and/or BAME young people’s sexual cultures

• Exploring different cultural perceptions of sexuality education (e.g. in communities/news     media)

• Examining the relationships between race, ethnicity, religion and LGBT+ inclusive     education

• Studying and/or evaluating sexuality programmes and how they approach religious and     ethnic diversity

Submit an abstract

Submission deadline: 15th April 2020


10.00 Registration, tea and coffee
10.30 Welcome
Prof Sally Elton-Chalcraft, University of Cumbria
10.40 Keynote
Dr Anna Carlile, University of London
11.30 Parallel Session 1
12.30 Lunch
13.15 Parallel Session 2
14.15 Keynote
Joy Warmington, BRAP and Razia Butt, Birmingham City Council
15.15 Tea and coffee break
15.30 Panel and practitioner discussion
Fin Cullen, St Mary’s University
16.45 Completion of evaluation forms
16.50 Close of event