Independent School Standards
Making sure they support same-sex marriage whether they like it or not
The Department for "Education" (forgive my cynicism, I'll explain it later), has published a draft document for independent schools, advising them to support same-sex marriage, otherwise they will fail to meet the standards required by Ofsted.
The document, known as The independent school standards: advice for independent schools lists the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010, including "sexual orientation", then it says "the standard will not be met if the PSHE curriculum suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law". Then it refers to the "teaching provided", as if it's targeting the teachers themselves, and suggests that if they don't comply with the requirement to support same-sex marriage, they are encouraging disrespect for homosexuals.
The relevant text from the document is as follows:
19. The protected characteristics as listed in section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 are as follows:
20. Everyone has at least some characteristics which are included in this list (for example, age and sex). The standard will not be met if, for example, the PSHE curriculum:
- gender reassignment;
- marriage and civil partnership;
- pregnancy and maternity;
- religion or belief;
- sexual orientation.
21. A school can teach that its particular faith has teachings relevant to these matters, and explain to pupils what those teachings are. However, this does not mean that a curriculum, including that for religious education, can be planned or teaching provided which advocates or otherwise encourages pupils not to respect other people on the basis of a protected characteristic. In that case the standard will not be met and there may also, depending on the exact facts, be a breach of other standards, for example, paragraph 3(i) or 5(b)(vi).
- encourages pupils to see those of particular races or religions as being inferior in any way;
- suggests to male pupils that women and girls should be treated with less respect than males or that a woman’s role is subservient to that of a man - or vice versa;
- suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law;
- teaches that disabled people deserve less equal treatment, for example because of sins they are said to have committed in previous lives;
- encourages pupils to believe that women who are pregnant without being married should be punished.
3. (i) does not undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
5(b) [the proprietor] ensures that principles are actively promoted which –
vi. encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010;
And now I will explain my cynicism. The paragraphs 3.(i) and 5(b)(vi) above, from The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, are what they should have quoted, but instead they quoted some irrelevant stuff from the same document, about careers guidance:
2. (2)(e) for pupils receiving secondary education, access to accurate, up-to-date careers guidance that–
- is presented in an impartial manner;
- enables them to make informed choices about a broad range of career options; and
- helps to encourage them to fulfil their potential;
Should we tell the Department for "Education" that they need someone to proof-read their documents or should we just keep quiet and have a laugh?
Anyway, back to the implications of this. There was a glimmer of hope when Justine Greening, the former Secretary of State for Education, was replaced by someone who is not in a same-sex relationship and has no reason to promote the homosexual agenda. Damian Hinds is married (properly) with three small children and we hoped he would introduce some sanity into the system, but we are disappointed. Homosexual activists have got their claws into everything.
The standards in this document are coercive. A teacher who fully supports same-sex marriage will be commended for his loyalty to the cause. A teacher who tries to give a balanced point of view, but his argument against same-sex marriage is better than his argument in favour, will be denounced as homophobic (we all do better at things we believe in). He will be considered a liability to the school, at risk of dismissal to avoid offending Ofsted.
These standards are being introduced to independent schools first, but are likely to be rolled out to all schools eventually. There will be no escape from cultural Marxism in the classroom, except perhaps for home-schooling.
14 May 2018
See also our Conference Motion to appoint a Family and Childrens' Spokesperson because of our concerns about the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
Please Respond to the Public Consultation
"Operating the Independent School Regulatory System"
Deadline: Tuesday 5 June 2018
The Department for Education has set up a public consultation in which you can give your views about the issues described above. You don't have to answer all the questions, but you need to answer question 7. They can be summarised as follows:
Please write your answers in your own words as they will be much more effective
The Coalition for Marriage has sent an email to their supporters suggesting that we should answer Question 7 with the following points:
- The Department for Education is acting as if Parliament has outlawed belief in traditional marriage.
- Teachers will be gagged. Even teachers who give views for and against could fall foul of this approach.
- The draft guidance is deeply offensive. It implies that disagreeing with same-sex marriage is like being racist.
- This guidance will further encourage Ofsted to ask intrusive questions of schoolchildren, as has already happened in Jewish and Christian schools.
- In a democratic society people should be free to disagree.
- Same-sex marriage is a political issue that schools should treat in a balanced manner.
- The draft guidance breaks promises made by Government ministers that teachers who disagree with same-sex marriage will be respected.
Regarding this last point, some of the promises made by Government ministers are quoted in a briefing from the Coalition for Marriage. There are three quotations from Hansard, with references, and if you want to see them in context on the government website, click the three links here:
House of Commons Public Bill Committee, Hansard, 28 February 2013, col. 311
House of Commons, Hansard, 20 May 2013, col. 963
House of Commons Public Bill Committee, Hansard, 12 February 2013, col. 6
Please click here and respond to the consultation.
Do not miss the deadline of Tuesday 5 June 2018
21 May 2018