Friday 19 February 2010

Government amendment on sex education is not u-turn

The Liberal Democrat party and secularist groups are mistakenly claiming that a new government amendment to the Children, Schools and Families bill will let faith schools decide what to teach in sex education classes.

Paul Tully, SPUC's political manager, has told the media this morning:
"There has been no u-turn. Children in faith schools will be subject to the same abusive so-called education as children in other state schools. The government amendment is mere window-dressing. The amendment makes no difference to what must be taught in schools. It only restates the principle that allows faith schools to teach sex education 'in a way' that reflects the school’s religious character. The Liberal Democrats and secularists have confused the 'way' sex education is taught with the content. The government's amendment will not keep pro-abortion and anti-family content out of sex education classes in faith schools.

"The only people likely to be pleased with the press reports about the misinterpretation of this amendment are the Catholic Education Service (CES), who want Catholic parents and Catholic schools to think they are sticking up for them, when in fact they are betraying their principles.

"SPUC condemns the action of the Catholic Education Service (CES) in pursuing this amendment, which is designed to mislead pro-life MPs and thereby help the bill to pass. The CES both welcomed and helped develop the government's draft sex education guidance, which is full of radical anti-life and anti-family ideas. The CES does not represent Catholic teaching on sex education, and its betrayal of Catholic families is widely lamented within the Catholic Church.

"We call upon MPs instead to oppose the bill as a whole and to vote for a opposition report-stage amendment to delete the bill's PHSE principles."
The department for children, schools and families yesterday confirmed that:
  • "All maintained schools and academies will be required to teach the full programmes of study in line with the principles outlined in the Bill including promoting equality and encouraging acceptance of diversity."
  • "[F]aith schools should be forced to teach that homosexuality is normal and harmless"
  • The government's amendment "does not diminish or detract from the over-arching principles" in the bill for PHSE
  • "Faith schools...cannot...suggest that their views are the only valid ones"
Please read SPUC's campaign alert and take action immediately. The bill's report-stage and third reading in the House of Commons is this Tuesday (23 Feb).

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