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Politics – Teachers’ freedom threatened

July 2018

The freedom of teachers to disagree with same-sex marriage is under threat in schools, with draft government guidance threatening to shut down debate and block pupils from hearing an alternative view. A consultation on the guidance closed on 5th June 2018.

The draft guidance says that a school will not meet requirements if its PSHE curriculum ‘suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law’.  The Christian Institute warns that this wording will inevitably restrict disagreement with same-sex marriage in schools. Teachers will not want to put their school at risk of being failed. Ofsted has shown itself all too willing to pursue schools that are not politically correct.

The draft guidance would give a further excuse for hostile inspectors to ask children inappropriate questions. The government is consulting on the new guidance to help independent schools know what is expected when they are assessed against the Independent School Standards.

This particular guidance only applies to independent schools. But this doesn’t mean other schools are safe, as what is asked of independent schools may soon be applied to all schools due to Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework. State-funded schools will not be given any more leeway than independent schools, which usually have the most freedom.

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