Exclusive: an open letter on relationships education in England

Oct 10, 2017

This morning the Daily Telegraph published the following letter, coordinated by the Coalition for Marriage and SPUC Safe at School, advising the Government to re-think relationships education in England:

Parents and guardians must retain the fundamental freedom to bring up their children in accordance with their beliefs and values. The role of the state in the nurture of children is strictly ancillary to that of the parents or guardians. The Government’s decision to impose Relationships Education on every child in England from the age of five undermines that freedom.

Not only will parents be denied the right to withdraw children from Relationships Education, but the Education Secretary has already spoken in favour of introducing very young children to concepts, such as homosexuality and transgenderism, at an age where these cannot be critically assessed. We note that the Secretary of State has made no mention of ensuring that children are taught about the well-established benefits associated with being brought up by married natural parents.

Relationships education was voted through parliament on the grounds that it would help protect children from exploitative relationships and internet predators. Instead, will it be used to stigmatise traditional marriage and promote alternative lifestyles to children against the wishes of parents?

This would be a coercive and unnecessary measure damaging the position of all parents in England. We urge attendees of the recent Conservative Party Conference to defend parental freedom and demand that the forthcoming consultation on Relationships Education puts the rights of parents ahead of the power of the state.


Philip Davies MP

Steve Double MP

Martin Vickers MP

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

Thomas Pascoe, Campaign Director, Coalition for Marriage

Antonia Tully, Director of Campaigns, SPUC Safe at School

Ed Costelloe, Chairman, Conservative Grassroots

Colin Hart, Director, The Christian Institute

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive, Christian Concern

Norman Wells, Director, Family Education Trust

Judith Nemeth, Director, National Association for Jewish Orthodox Schools

Mr Clive Ireson, Director, Association of Christian Teachers

Dr Chris Richards, Lovewise

Revd Lynda Rose, Chief Executive Officer, Voice for Justice UK

The Trustees, Union of Catholic Mothers

Philip Booth, Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Professor David Paton, Chair of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University Business School

Dr Trevor G Stammers BSc, MA, FRCGP, DRCOG, FHEA, Dip Psych

E J Matyjaszek, Principal, Priory School of Our Lady of Walsingham

Revd Andrew Symes, Executive Secretary, Anglican Mainstream

Rod Liddle, Journalist.

Kathy Gyngell, Co-Editor, The Conservative Woman

Sue Relf, Organiser, Challenge Team UK

Rev. Dr. Matthew PW Roberts, Minister Trinity Church York, Former Moderator, International Presbyterian Church

Dr Lisa Nolland, Convenor, Marriage, Sex and Culture, Anglican Mainstream