The law establishing the new framework for Relationships & Sex Education was passed last year. From last September, with encouragement and funding from the Department for Education (DfE), “early adopters” have been trialling the new regime of Relationships Education in Primary Schools and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in Secondary Schools before they become mandatory in law. A significant portion of schools – again, at DfE’s urging – have already adopted both. We understand that at least, and possibly well over 1,000, schools have acted as “early adopters”. This cuts across the mandatory consultation required for the framing of any policies. This contradictory stance has been a disaster.
The materials being brought into schools, particularly primaries, include the infamous “No Outsiders” set of resources created by Andrew Moffat, the controversial Deputy Head at Parkfield School in Birmingham, who is a self-avowed campaigner for LGBT. Parkfield School, along with its neighbour Anderton Park, were at the epi-centre of public protests, from mostly Muslim parents last year, which led to a court case that resulted in the banning of public assemblies outside their schools, but did confirm the right to voice protest and disquiet online and in writing.
But also LGBT pressure groups, such as Stonewall and Mermaids, with the help of lavish public funding, have been pushing their materials into schools. Large corporate educational publishers, such as Pearson International, have got in on the act and stand to profit if such materials become adopted generally. A combination of sexual ideology, commercial interests, and official diktat is creating a toxic brew. And our children are both the targets and the victims. For many parents, classroom sex or ‘relationships’ education is nothing more than state sponsored child abuse.
The recent comments by Home Secretary Priti Patel about the scandal of abuse of girls by mainly Asian gangs highlight how “institutionalised, corrosive behaviour that disregards victims has to end”. Her allusion to “this failure of the state to fulfil one of its fundamental roles, protecting our children” could well be applied to the Minister for Education next to her on the Cabinet table. There is no doubt decades to come will look back and be amazed that we officially subjected our youngest school children to such ideological indoctrination.
It is reported that in Birmingham over 50 parents have withdrawn their children totally; and Andrew Moffat himself has been moved sideways inside the academy that runs Parkfield. But we understand that the offending lessons are still being taught. Home Education is on the rise, and religious reasons are being quoted as one of the main justifications now – this having only just appeared as a statistic. But all round the country, as we at ParentPower can attest, school after school is receiving complaints from parents, with requests to withdraw their children from lessons where LGBT and other sexual materials are put in front of children as young as 4, with letters to MPs and Ofsted also being fired off. To give an example: a 4 year old comes home and tells her mother: “they tell me I can have two mummies, but I only want one – you mummy”. Another comes home “they say I can be a boy or a girl – what do they mean daddy?”.
We are confusing and disturbing our youngest children, all for an ideology that affects just 2% of the population (LGBT identifiers according to the ONS-office of National Statistics), and which is now overriding the basic human right of ALL parents to educate their children according to their own beliefs and values. If one were to apply the old biblical adage of “know them by their fruits”, the dismay, disturbance and upset of so many parents would be sufficient evidence of the rottenness of the Government’s approach.
Parental rights in law remain intact – especially the right to withdraw your child from ‘sex education’ under both the current and the incoming law. In primary school this is absolute; in secondary school, it has been watered down to a ‘request’, but no decent Headteacher would override a parent’s formal request – or would they? We sadly have seen case after case where even before the formal introduction of compulsory RSE in September, requests by parents to take their children out of these lessons have been refused, with vague excuses such as “we are only working within the Equality Act”. The law clearly sets out the need to respect parents and their rights; too many times this is being ignored.
What are parents to do?
We have found that the following can and does have an effect:
1. Press courteously and persistently for information about what the current and future policy of a school is.
2. Ask to see the materials used in classes.
3. If Stonewall, Mermaids or other LGBT propaganda posters and materials are to be seen, request for them to be taken down or not put on display.
Even though you may be refused, and channelled through formal complaints procedures, we have seen schools then act to remove offending materials.
4. Seek out other parents with similar concerns. Form a Parents Union. Gain support and encouragement from each other.
5. Pursue the formal complaints procedure and involve your MP and councillors. If your school is a religious one, write to the diocese or your ministers of religion, and ask them for support.
6. Inform ParentPower and we can link you with parents in your area who are also concerned.
7. If you are thinking of a school for your child, check its policies. Check if it has any of the above material or is linked with the organisations and write courteously to the Head and Chair of Governors to explain you will not be applying as you have concerns about your children’s safety and protection. Nothing worries a school more than to know it is losing children!
8. Seek information from ParentPower, from The Values Foundation, from Safe at School(SPUC), from Christian Concern, from Voice for Justice UK. We all work together and share information and resources.
Above all remember you have the right enshrined in Human Rights Law to educate your child according to your religious and philosophical beliefs. That right is still present even under the new RSE regime. Never be afraid to use this right. Your child is a child only once – make sure it is the finest childhood you can ensure for them.
Principal. Priory School of Our Lady of Walsingham, Isle of Wight January 2020