CAMPAIGN WIN, BUT URGE YOUR MP TO GET THE
GOVT TO REIN IN OFSTED
Dear Marriage supporter
Good news: school standards not to be used to ‘actively promote’ same-sex ‘marriage’
A huge letter-writing campaign by C4M supporters has led to vital safeguards being included in Government guidance on how schools teach ‘British values’. We have consistently warned against vaguely worded new school standards which seemed to require teachers, pupils and parents to agree with same-sex ‘marriage’.
The Government has now clarified the position and written to all schools in England:
“The standard does not mean, for example, that schools must promote alternative lifestyles or same sex marriage [sic]. Rather, it requires respect for people” (para 18, guidance for academies, free schools and private schools).
“It is not necessary for schools or individuals to ‘promote’ teachings beliefs or opinions that conflict with their own” (page 6, guidance for maintained schools”).
Highlighted copies of the full documents, along with other relevant official guidance can be found on our website.
The penny now seems to have dropped with the Department for Education: it’s wrong to force people to ‘respect’ ideas they don’t agree with [apart from anything else it is grossly disrespectful], it’s right to promote respect for people as people no matter what their background [but what does this mean in practice?]. There’s all the difference in the world between respecting the right to hold beliefs and respecting the beliefs themselves.
This is great news. Thank you to all of you who wrote to your MPs to express concern – as you can see it makes a real difference.
Bad news: Ofsted’s political ‘correctness’
You’ve probably seen some of the press reports about Ofsted inspectors charging into Christian and Jewish [but not Muslim?] schools and asking pupils about same-sex ‘marriage’.
Only this week there have been shocking press reports of the inspection at Grindon Hall Christian School. In the Sunderland league tables Grindon gets the best exam results of any state school, but that wasn’t Ofsted’s focus.
Inspectors asked children very personal questions in order to test ‘British values’ compliance. Primary school aged children were asked to explain “what lesbians did” and whether they knew of pupils “who had two mums”.
When one child, thinking of basic biology, argued that having two mums was impossible, the inspector noted this as clear evidence that ‘homophobia’ was not being tackled by the school. As you can see from the headteacher’s complaint letter there were many other unacceptable questions asked.
No pupil in any school should be subject to the sort of intrusive questioning that went on at Grindon Hall.
More widely, it’s good that there have been very strong statements about Ofsted from the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Education Service.
Contact your MP today
C4M supporters have been very effective in raising concerns. Official guidance sets out the importance of respect for pupils, teachers and parents who believe in traditional marriage. But it’s about time that Ofsted was made to comply with it. There are many inspectors who need to show more tolerance and respect.
Can I please urge you to email your MP today to ask them to get the Government to rein in Ofsted? It needs to focus on educational standards rather than the passing fads of political ‘correctness’.
Using your own words, you may wish to include one or two of the following points:
Say that Ofsted should not be permitted to intrusively question any child in any school on deeply personal matters. Inspectors are complete strangers to children.
Say that Ofsted needs to be made to comply with Government guidance which underlines respect for people who believe in traditional marriage.
Say that Ofsted’s actions undermine Government reassurances about safeguards in the new ‘British values’ rules.
In a number of school inspections, Ofsted seems more concerned about promoting alternative lifestyles and political ‘correctness’ than about academic attainment.
Email your MP today.
Ask your friends to join our mailing list and help support marriage.
Thank you for your continued support.
Coalition for Marriage