Relationships Education in Primary Schools
Controversy surrounds the introduction of the Government’s Relationships Education Policy in primary schools from September 2020. From a Christian Point of view whilst the policy is challenging I believe it is a great opportunity to share about the Christian view of the family.
The Government has issued guidance for parents which most people would agree with:
‘By the end of primary school, pupils will have been taught content on:
• Families and people who care for me
• Caring friendships
• Respectful relationships
• Online relationships
• Being safe’
The area that many Christians are worried about is the teaching of LGBT issues to primary age children. Under the government policy this does not need to happen. Schools are ‘encouraged’ to teach LGBT relationships but not required to do so. Every school must construct a policy of their own, to do this they must:
• Ensure the policy meets the needs of pupils and parents
• Reflect the community the school serves
• Take into account the religious background of pupils
• Ensure it is age appropriate
Interestingly and usefully all schools ‘may teach about faith perspectives.’
The policy must be available to parents as well as any materials the school intends to use.
Parents will therefore be able to find out before they choose a school for their child whether the relationships education offered by the school fits their beliefs.
Ultimately the Relationships policy of each school will be decided by its own Governing body – it is so important that Christians join the governing body of their local school so their views can be taken into account.
The Relationships legislation and guidance was written by the Government so that the views and beliefs of Christians and those of other faiths had to be taken into account. There are some who are not happy with that – so it will be important that Christians are informed and stand up for their rights and the best interests of their children.
Association of Christian Teachers