Editor’s note: This article first appeared in today’s edition of the Daily Mail
As her 11-year-old daughter Grace arrived home, Deborah Finch naturally asked her how the day had gone.
Her response could hardly have been more surprising.
She explained that Ofsted had launched a snap inspection of her school in Durham, quizzing pupils about their experiences.
‘Grace told me what she had been asked and I could not believe it,’ says Mrs Finch, 36, herself a teacher at another school. She was asked if she knew what it was to be gay and whether she had any gay friends.
‘She was asked if she knew any lesbians and whether any family members had gay friends. At one point she was even asked whether she had ever felt she was in the wrong body, which completely baffled her as she hadn’t any idea what the woman was talking about.
She felt very embarrassed and uncomfortable — she said she felt under pressure as though she was being forced to sit some kind of test and worried she wasn’t giving the right answers.’
As it turned out, those worries were entirely justified.
Earlier this week, the Department for Education announced it was withdrawing funding from Grace’s school, Durham Free School, and that come Easter, it would close.