News from Grassroots conservatives

Parents advised on rights under RSE Regulations

30 Jan 2020

In September new regulations and guidance will come into force about the syllabus to be taught in this area to children at both Primary and Secondary Schools. The regulations are acceptable in and of themselves.

However, the experience of for example schools in Warwickshire which have been encouraged to be early adopters of some material that has been prepared for the syllabus, suggests that the regulations currently allow for material that amounts to abuse of children and is unacceptable to true Conservatives as well as traditional Labour supporters. 

A conference in Oxford on January 25th noted that parents have a legal right to see both the school’s policy and the material to be presented, some of which should not be allowed in order to safeguard innocent children. If you have the stomach for it, this report on Conservative Woman here (  ) outlines some of the problems. No wonder the Muslims have been protesting in force.

Parents advised on rights under RSE Regulations

Over sixty parents and teachers from Anglican, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Black led Churches, and Muslims gathered in Oxford on Saturday 25 January to consider the implications of the RSE Regulations and Guidance which will come into force in September.

They were advised by a team of speakers representing the Abrahamic faiths that, while what schools are required to teach is largely uncontroversial, the statutory guidance provides an open door for the strong influence of ideologies at odds with conservative values on sex, marriage and family. Under the legislation parents  have mandated rights to see the school’s policy on RSE and the material that would be taught to their children.

Parents should check this out when considering which school their child might attend. For children already at a school, a concerned parent should approach the head teacher with a companion and with good intent to discuss the problem calmly. The tenor of the head teacher’s response would reveal whether the school is open to sensible compromise. If necessary, a formal complaint which has to be logged can be entered. Parents should consider removing their child from the class if needed and, only as a last resort, consider moving them to another school.

In a number of cases it can be shown from the materials already being used that RSE is not safeguarding children but providing ideological grooming, omitting key facts about, for example, dangers to health. Questionable material  includes No outsiders, Educate and Celebrate, All about Me and Respect Yourself.  Schools are incentivised by the government for early adoption of these curricula, whose publishers are gaining a huge commercial benefit.

Examples of appropriate material were on display, such as that produced by Alive to the World, Lovewise, Fertile Heart and other sources, that match the religious background of pupils as required by the law. Cases were cited  where inappropriate material had been dropped because of parental intervention.

Some schools had pleaded the Equality Act in their defence.  This Act prohibits any and all discrimination against what are termed protected characteristics one of which is faith. It thus affirms the right of parents to insist that all teaching aligns with, and respects, their faith and, if a contrary position is taken by the school or teacher, to remove their children from what is seen as inappropriate teaching.

The conference noted with concern that, unlike the medical profession which allowed doctors and nurses not to be involved in abortions, there was as yet no conscience clause for teachers who do not want to teach children contrary to their or the children’s familial beliefs.

Amir Ahmed of Birmingham Parent Power spoke for his community where one hundred percent of the children in the local schools were from a faith based community that does not accept same sex behaviour.  600 of the 740 pupils at Parkfield School had taken part in a daylong boycott of the school over such teaching. This, he said, was not a matter of religious belief, but of truth and community opposition to politically backed ideologues seeking to impose liberal ideas not in the best interests of children, and contrary to their faith.  He noted that many in the community in and around Birmingham were afraid that if they objected they would lose their jobs.

Future discussions on these matters are planned in a Parliamentary briefing in February, with the Church of England Board of Education, and with chairs of School Governing Bodies and Headteachers.

posted by Grassroots Conservatives in News