Is there joined up government? Listen to these three announcements ∗∗∗ all in the space of 3 days last week.
∗∗∗ Firstly, Amanda Spielman Head of Ofsted, commented on July 18th on a report Ofsted issued that found no link between efforts to tackle obesity and pupils’ weight in schools.
“There is a broader temptation to look to schools to do more than educate. The more we expect schools to become a catch-all for all societal ills, the more we distract them from their core purpose….schools cannot provide a silver bullet for all societal ills. Teachers and school leaders are already stretched; they should not be held responsible for an issue that requires concerted action across the board.”
∗∗∗ The next day in Parliament, Damian Hinds the Secretary of State for Education, launching a Consultation on guidance on new statutory rules on Relationship & Sex Education, said:
For Relationships Education and RSE, the aim is to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with the family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including online…they need to know the laws relating to relationships and sex that govern society to ensure they act appropriately and can be safe. This includes LGBT, which is a strong feature of the new subjects at age appropriate points.
So although schools cannot cure obesity, they are of course the vehicle for such minor educational issues as “family & friends”, all things online, all their relationships and of course how to be safe.
Teachers and school leaders are already stretched but no doubt the resources will be dedicated to this from the generous purse strings of the Treasury. Nothing much can be done about your child’s weight, but the whole of their family, friendship and sexual relations will be thoroughly covered at school…..
The new guidance makes it clear- and Damian Hinds letter to MPs make it even clearer – “respect for all types of relationships will be taught, including through (sic) content on LGBT”
Why this particular focus on one type of relationship which actually concerns about 2% of the population?
In 2016, just over 1 million (2.0%) of the UK population aged 16 and over identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) (Office of National Statistics 2016 survey)
Why is this tiny minority specifically identified as “a strong feature of the new subjects”.
We know that recently Ofsted inspectors — filled with a zeal to ensure all pupils are equipped for “life in modern Britain”, which is not actually it appears something for the free and adult citizens of this country to determine for themselves to set through democratic means, but already has pre-set categories of which ‘LGBT’ is clearly one — found Jewish Orthodox Schools (see Vishnitz case) inadequate. The original May 2017 OFSTED Report on Vishnitz School (since doctored by OFSTED themselves) stated:
Leaders and proprietors recognise the requirement to teach about the protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act 2010. However, they acknowledge that they do not teach pupils about all the protected characteristics, particularly those relating to gender re-assignment and sexual orientation. This means that pupils have a limited understanding of the different lifestyles and partnerships that individuals may choose in present-day society.
However, if Jews or indeed Christians or Muslims are to be faithful to their religion and their God and their scriptures, they must make it clear LGBT practices – not the person but the practices – are abhorrent to their God. By the way, in Vishnitz we are talking about 8 year old girls or younger. 8 year old girls? Has any 8 year old in any school the capacity to understand all the varieties of sexual practice that go under the term of LGBT?
∗∗∗ And yet the Prime Minister Theresa May in Parliament on 18th July stated:
“As a Government we stand with persecuted Christians all over the world… It is hard to comprehend that today we still see people being attacked and murdered because of their Christianity, but we must reaffirm our determination to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions and beliefs and for them to be able to practise their beliefs in peace and security.”
Except where you are a Jewish Orthodox School in North London. Except where you are a Christian teacher who cannot “celebrate” homosexual practice.
Joined up thinking? Beware! Joined up thinking like this is coming to a school near you very soon………….
Edmund Matyjaszek, Priory School of Our Lady of Walsingham