The former head of the army has warned that the government’s controversial out-of-schools settings plans could affect cadet training courses. Lord Dannatt told The Sun newspaper, ‘I am all for a strong campaign to prevent radicalisation but common sense has to be applied’.
Lord Dannatt joins a variety of critics of the government’s out-of-school settings plans, including MPs and senior church figures. A recent poll found a majority of MPs believed the government should scale back or drop the proposals.
Two-thirds of MPs agreed ‘while the need to tackle extremism is clear, the proposal defines too widely the activities which would be covered by it’.
Earlier this year, five Christian charities urged opposition to the proposals, which would see schools’ regulator Ofsted carry out ‘British values’ inspections of church youth work, where children have more than six hours a week of teaching, in out-of-school activities.
The Christian Institute, along with CARE, Christian Concern, Evangelical Alliance and Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship opposed the government’s plans. Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said, ‘The freedom to proclaim the gospel, and indeed our wider civil liberties, must be protected, not undermined in the name of counter-extremism’.