School standards will not be used to ‘actively promote’ same-sex marriage but Ofsted prefer PC approach

Jan 21, 2015

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. 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 here.

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, it’s right to promote respect for people as people no matter what their background. 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.

Unfortunately, Ofsted seem to be struggling to adjust to the clearer guidance.

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 this sort of intrusive questioning.