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for Christians working in education

The week
News items from the week’s daily and education press, covering the major education news stories of the week.

Parents to lose the right to opt-out of Relationships and Sex Education from 2020

This is a guest post by David Kurten AM. 

Under cover of Brexit, the government is pushing through one of the most unpopular and destructive policies ever considered by a ‘Conservative’ government. It wants to make Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in schools from September 2020. Highly sexualised material is already available in hundreds of primary schools, which undermine traditional family values and confuses children about gender, but teaching these things will become compulsory in all schools if the government gets its way.

Many parents and Parliamentarians are simply unaware of the kind of explicit materials already available in primary schools. They are told they are for ‘anti-bullying programs’ and for ‘safeguarding’ children. Busy MPs and peers are hoodwinked by these words, but the document ‘Too Much, Too Young’ clearly explains what has been already been recommended for children as young as 5-years-old. 

The vote on the statutory instrument which will make it law was originally planned for Thursday 28th March but has been brought forward to Wednesday 20th March – the same day as the third vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. It will be debated in the Commons straight after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. 

It is almost unheard of for a statutory instrument to be defeated in the House of Commons as MPs from the governing party do not normally vote against them. This is an issue which cuts across party lines however, so it may be that a majority of MPs may vote against it, however unlikely.  

Read the full story.


Sex, Schools, Society Interview.

Listen to Lynda Rose in conversation with Rodney Hearth of Air TV, discussing the latest Relationships and Sex Education Regulations, currently going through Parliament, and how we got where we are today.

View the full interview here: Sex, Schools, Society Interview


No deal preparations for Local Authorities.

EU Exit: no deal preparations for local authority children’s services in England  

    Advice to local authority children’s services in England on how to prepare in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Read more.


Protests end as LGBT lessons end

A school at the centre of a row about teaching LGBT rights says it will not resume the lessons until a resolution has been reached with angry parents.

Weekly protests against the classes have been held outside the gates of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.

After a meeting on Tuesday, the school said it wanted to continue working with parents to "find a solution".

Parents welcomed the decision and called off planned protests.

The school denied an earlier suspension of the lessons was a U-turn, saying it had always planned to stop the 'No Outsiders' project at half-term.

    

But the decision made after Tuesday's meeting means they will be stopped indefinitely.

Read the detail.


Pupil climate strikes spread around the world.

 

Thousands of school pupils worldwide have abandoned classrooms for a day of protest against climate change.

 

India, South Korea, Australia and the US are among the countries where teenagers are already on strike.

 

The day of action is expected to embrace about 100 countries. They are inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who protests weekly outside Sweden's parliament.

 

Scientists say tougher measures are needed to cut global warming.

 

The Paris climate agreement of 2017 committed nearly 200 countries to keeping global temperatures "well below" 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and to striving for a maximum of 1.5C.

 

    

 

Read more.

 


Keep daily prayers in House of Commons.

Petition    To keep daily prayers in House of Commons, as UK was built on Christian values.  

An MP is calling for the practice of saying prayers at the beginning of parliamentary business in the Commons to be abolished.

More details      

Sign this petition


Education Secretary backs headteachers teaching LGBT relationships to pupils in primary schools.

The education secretary Damian Hinds has backed headteachers who teach pupils about LGBT relationships following protests by parents against the curriculum of a Birmingham school.

West Midlands police has confirmed it is investigating homophobic graffiti at Parkfield Community School following vocal rallies organised by parents against the school’s programme of study on LGBT rights amid concerns of a lack of parental consultation.

I’ve always been clear that I support headteachers to make decisions

The protests have stoked fears of a larger backlash against schools when new relationships and sex education guidance comes into force next year. The guidance states that the government “expects” schools to teach about LGBT relationships, but the timing of such teaching is to be left up to headteachers.

Speaking to Schools Week at Oasis’s Break the Cycle event in London this morning, Hinds said he backed heads when they teach about LGBT issues.

“First of all we should be clear the Parkfield question is of course before the RSHE guidance has come into place,” he said.

“I’ve always been clear that I support headteachers to make decisions and we believe in school  autonomy, that school leaders are best-placed to make decisions.

“Of course, it’s also right to consult with parents.

Read more.


Muslim parents withdraw children from equality lessons.

Furious Muslim parents withdraw children from school claiming their children are being brainwashed about gay rights in equality lessons

  • The 600 primary pupils make up 80 per cent of Parkfield Community School 
  • They were withdrawn from the Birmingham school in protest of LGBT lessons
  • Angry parents said the classes 'promote homosexuality' to their young children 
  • Assistant head Andrew Moffat created 'No Outsiders' programme four years ago

Read more detail.


Shortage of school places.

More than half a million families were told on Friday which secondary school their child would go to in September.

National Offer Day can be an anxious time for many parents, and now with secondary school pupil numbers on the rise, parents in some parts of England have even more to worry about.

This year, for the first time, Hertfordshire County Council has failed to allocate all children a school place. Nearly 200 families are in limbo waiting to hear where their child will be for the start of the autumn term.

 

So why are more children missing out on places at their preferred schools? Quite simply, there are more pupils entering secondary school than in previous years, making the competition tougher.

And in some cities, the provision of school places is failing to keep up with a population bulge which is now moving into secondary education. Often, more housing is approved before a new school has opened up, making matters worse

Read more.


UK Universities nervous about admitting to financial difficulties.

There are UK universities facing deeper financial problems than at "any point in living memory", warns the head of a higher education think tank.

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, says some universities are "close to the wall".

But the think tank says its survey of student attitudes raises dilemmas over how much information should be shared.

The vast majority of students - 97% - thought they should be told if their university was in financial trouble.

But 84% said they would be less likely to apply to a university that had admitted facing such difficulties.

Read more.


 

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