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Department for Education refutes “Clause 28″ claims for free schools and academies

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  1. Pink News has missed the point. It’s clearer in this piece:-

    http://www.fagburn.com/2011/12/clause-28-20-lgbtory-tell-us-story.html

    1. Isn’t the coalition supposed to be cleaning up their act, so goes their hotter than air propaganda … instead… what you see is classic denial, postponing … smoke and mirrors … and lots of in-house homophobes preparing the groundwork for a comeback under this lot’s patronising noses. LGBTories? You must be joking…. they’re the ones capitalising on this wholesale … meanwhile what you see on the streets … Equality? What you see is the state dismantling hard won protections, so racists and homophobes can reign in again….

  2. Jock S. Trap 6 Dec 2011, 10:37am

    This is not good enough. Schools should be about fairness and producing children into adults with a open mind and acceptance. This should be clear that all schools should be able to teach without bigotry and it’s certainly not the job of any adult to teach children in a discriminating manner.
    -
    This clause should be removed and a proper education of the fact about life and those living it. Surely that way we provide an education that is better and leads to a better stable society.

    1. or of they are going to continue with the clause (which I would prefer not) at least include it in its entirity with the diversity clauses that are linked to it (but appear remarkable by their absence for free schools).

    2. jock s complaining about tory policy, shocking

      1. Jock S. Trap 19 Dec 2011, 9:38am

        A somewhat immature response since I am not loyal to any party.

  3. Thanks anon, it does appear the section has been changed to the detriment of gay relationships and families, and the protection from stigmatisation has also been removed.

    These academies seem to be a shoe-in for religious extremists anyway.

    1. @Ken, You (and the Fagburn blog) are right that school funding agreements do not convey the full sense of the 2000 guidelines. But it was Labour, and not the coalition, which put the marriage protection clause into school funding agreements, going back all the way to 2006. The coalition has just been copying and pasting from old funding agreements – not that this is any excuse, as I pointed out below.

      For an example, see clause 26 (p. 6) of this school funding agreement from 2001: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/d/dfes_foi_119.pdf

      1. Ooer missus 6 Dec 2011, 2:03pm

        If memory serves correctly the academies were believed to be brought in by Tony Blair (and Ruth Kelly?) with a view to certain “devout” millionaires funding faith academies with a bible belt mentality, not just about gays but also about evolution.

  4. This report is not clear.

    The Government has successfully “refuted” (disproved) the suggestion that this clause is a new insertion in funding agreements. The marriage promotion clause was, we are told, first used by Labour in 2000 (at which time Section 28 was still in effect south of the border).

    But important questions remain:
    1) Why has the Sex and Relationship Education guidance not been updated since 2000? And why, specifically, has it not been updated to take account of the introduction of CPs?
    2) Didn’t the coalition government notice that this clause seems controversial and outdated, particularly in the light of the public sector equality duty?
    3) Why did no-one notice until now that this marriage clause is a misleading summary of the 2000 guidance, which mentions that there can be “strong and mutually supportive relationships outside marriage”. Precis is a difficult art – why not just refer schools to the relevant teaching guidance rather than paraphrasing poorly?

    1. Christine Beckett 6 Dec 2011, 3:15pm

      And equally to the point, why is Gove running around making political capital out of this with the right of the Tory party?

      I find this worrying, and the “refutation” does not sound like a true bill. I don’t think it is safe to assume that this is simply an old clause that everyone forgot was hidden in there.

      Typical Blair, though. The legacy of his religious beliefs still leaves a taint on all the last government touched.

      chrissie

    2. I totally agree .. the lib dems did try a few months ago to update a SRE clause which was inclusive of CPs all in one line on a par with marriage..don’t know enought about education bills etc and what documents it should ultimately appear but someone in the lib dem noticed that CPs ought to be included alongside marriages…

      Here’s what it said in the amendment but guess what it’s someone been quashed..

      “The Secretary of State must issue guidance designed to secure that where sex and relationships education is given to registered pupils at schools in England to which this section applies they learn about the nature of marriage, civil partnership, and other strong and stable relationships and their importance for family life and the bringing up of children.”

  5. According to my reading around the issue … the following wording is missing from free schools funding agreements:

    “But the Government recognises that there are strong and mutually supportive relationships outside marriage. Therefore pupils should learn the significance of marriage and stable relationships as key building blocks of community and society. Care needs to be taken to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances”

    1. Christine Beckett 6 Dec 2011, 3:17pm

      The smoking gun….

      chrissie

      1. Interesting by its absence …

        Should be a bigger story than it is …

  6. Homosexuality should not be taught in schools, if they can teach that, then they should teach bomb making too.

    1. It has nothing to do with teaching homosexuality any more than sex ed is about how to be a porn star

    2. Jock S. Trap 6 Dec 2011, 11:45am

      Please do tell how you teach ‘homosexuality’?
      -
      Ignorance – the biggest killer on our planet.

      1. Wahey! Its drunkie, everybody! Hey drunkie!

        Been cruising the local park, have we?

      2. Jock S. Trap 19 Dec 2011, 9:39am

        Note, not replay to my question. This is why their comments can never be taken seriously.

    3. … bomb making is such a natural part of so many peoples lives, that it makes both an appropriate and thoughtful addition to the curriculum and is a fully appropriate and honourable comparitor to homosexuality … not …

      In any instance, this is about reducing stigma and supporting young people not marginalizing them by making teachers fear speaking about homosexulaity … as we learned in the original section 28 …

      1. I got a C in bomb making, never could get the hang of it lol

        1. I’m reminded of a quote from WH Auden

          “A poet can write about a man slaying a dragon, but not about a man pushing a button that releases a bomb.”

          Perhaps Daly, myself and others seek to engage in reasonable discussion about human interaction – yet, Matt struggles to understand pressing a button (and thats why he requires education in bomb making) …

          Remember what is important … the important things are communication and relationships and not destruction and horror.

    4. “Homosexuality should not be taught in schools”

      Well it is, so get over it.

  7. I thought school was about preparing children for adult life. I wish the school prepared me for my adult life with fairness and equality and not just about the straight part, which had no meaning to me except to make me wish I had a womb.

    with stupid rules like this we might as well start teaching the “theory” of creationism as fact.

    1. Ooer missus 6 Dec 2011, 2:11pm

      Some of them probably do.

  8. I really don’t get why people are so keen to promote marriage in schools in this clunky, heavy-handed and ultimately ridiculous manner.

    Now, I’m no opponent of marriage. I’m quite fond of it, and plan on marrying my beloved as soon as he’s available and the law allows. I have a faintly old-fashioned respect for the institution, albeit in its modern, equal form.

    But that’s just me. That’s just my personal prejudice and opinion. I don’t want my personal prejudices touted to schoolchildren as incontrovertible facts any more than I want those of others taught in such a way. It seems blatantly obvious that, beyond the suite of legal privileges and obligations it confers, marriage is whatever people make of it for themselves. Just calling yourself “married” doesn’t make you any more stable in your family relationships, it’s the other way round – if you have a stable and productive family relationship then you are more likely to seek a culturally approved label to announce that fact…

  9. … but getting married and being married does not make you a better person, or a more stable family. It’s not some magic ritual that turns reckless, selfish people into docile model citizens. It is, at best, a status marker. The real work happens elsewhere.

    It is typical of creakingly old-fashioned political dinosaurs and reactionary right-wingers to promote the label as if it were the substance. I recall that Cameron stood during the 2010 election on a promise to give married people additional tax breaks to the tune of something like £2 a week, as if people would be more likely to marry or stay married or be happy in their marriages for the sake of a paltry bribe.

    No, if the government really valued marriage, and wanted it to become an institution that attracted only the most committed and devoted people, they’d disincentivise it. They’d make married couples pay more tax, not less. Then only people for whom it was a deeply special, deeply meaningful commitment would take it up.

    1. PumpkinPie 6 Dec 2011, 4:58pm

      I totally agree. It’s not only completely wrong-headed, but actually actively detrimental to be pushing marriage in such a way. Coaxing people in unstable relationships to get married is the worst possible thing the government could be doing in this situation. By doing this, they’re helping to ruin people’s lives, not save them.

      And let’s not forget that domestic violence is by far one of the most common and insidious danger that women face in this country. Not content with pushing people into marriage, either, the government is also eager to maintain the status quo of women being home-makers who are dependent on their husbands’ income, which just adds fuel to the fire by making it incredibly difficult for many women to escape abusive relationships. That’s what happens when you have a country being led by a bunch of rich, traditionalist old boys who care only for saving face.

      Instead of indoctrinating children into believing that getting hitched cures all ills, and instead of focusing on creating a superficial society that only looks good on paper, schools should be teaching children how to have healthy relationships, how to look after themselves, how to grow into happy and well-adjusted adults. Marriage is the icing on the cake for all of these things, NOT a substitute for them.

  10. There is evangelical creep happening, they are in it for the long game trying to claw back the gains gays have made toward equality and against anti-gay discrimination in this country.
    If we are not vigilant the situation in UK for LGBT’s will become ever more like the holocaust conditions LGBT’s face in Uganda a country that has had special focus as a social experiment and model for the evangelicals.

  11. Ooer missus 6 Dec 2011, 1:56pm

    Obviously the parts about non traditional families and stigma have deliberately been removed as so many of these places will be “faith” academies.

  12. Ooer missus 6 Dec 2011, 2:07pm

    Maybe it’s time for Branson to get involved, and create some Virgin Academies! And Apple too!

  13. Isn’t the coalition supposed to be cleaning up their act, so goes their hotter than air propaganda … instead… what you see is classic denial, postponing … smoke and mirrors … and lots of in-house homophobes preparing the groundwork for a comeback under this lot’s patronising noses. LGBTories? You must be joking…. they’re the ones capitalising on this wholesale … meanwhile what you see on the streets … Equality? What you see is the state dismantling hard won protections, so racists and homophobes can reign in again…

    1. Jock S. Trap 19 Dec 2011, 9:40am

      Crazy says what now?

  14. Well, to me, schools run independently by “parents, teachers, charities and other groups”, without regulation, just sounds like an invitation for anti-LGBT people to start up a school that demonises and silences LGBT people without reprimand… And this regulation talking about “promoting marriage and family” and omitting discrimination clauses for LGBT people just adds more fuel to the fire… I sure hope I’ve got that all wrong because that to me sounds like a hundred steps backwards from equality.

  15. Why should children want to know about homosexuality?
    Why should it fall on Schools to teach it, they teach maths, English, they do not and should not teach any form of sexuality. Sex Education, how babies are made yes, as that’s how the world functions. But not about alternative lifestyle choices.

    Children should be left alone to deceived what they want to be, not being taught what they should be doing.

    1. No one is suggesting teaching them about homosexuality at a young age …

      The provisions of the former section 28 prevented teachers being supportive or giving advice to a 15 year old boy unsure about his orientation and possibly suicidal …

      The provisions meant that a relationship between two women or two men could not be included as a normal aspect of society during school education (such relationships do clearly exist) …

      The media (largely) provides a good image of LGBT people in some programmes. Most children are internet savvy and can see both positive and negative role models and discussion of LGBT issues.

      It is therefore confusing to adopt an approach which is blinkered to the variance in relationships and refuses to acknowledge the existence of gay relationships. Its netiher an honest worldview nor is it realistic.

      Schools that adopt such approaches are failing those in their care, failing to build their pupils as responsible and humane. Failing to challenge …

    2. … prejudice. Failing to create a supportive environment which deters bullying.

      Its an abject failure of responsibility and sheer ignorance to fail to reflect society, and discuss differences.

    3. Chester3669 7 Dec 2011, 10:15am

      they are being deceived as you acknowledge and sexual orientation is not a lifestyle choice or anything to do with lifestyle

    4. Jock S. Trap 19 Dec 2011, 9:41am

      You yet again failed to answer my question… how do you teach someone to be Gay? You clearly don’t know so therefore your comments are just for attention and affect, nothing else.

    5. Jock S. Trap 19 Dec 2011, 9:42am

      An alternative lifestyle choice is religion not race, sex, orientation.

  16. Scare the crap out of the children with threats of imaginary fiery pits of damnation and destroy their human spirit you mean.

  17. I knew this was going to happen. Taking schools out of Local authority control is going to be a disaster!

  18. Mr Gove is also sending copies of “complimentary” bibles to ALL schools and academies in the land, that’s supposedly in line with both legislation and the “funding agreement”… go figure…

    1. He is sending bibles to ALL schools and academies in the land:
      http://www.secularism.org.uk/prime-minister-to-send-a-bible-t.html

  19. The sad thing is that the lib dems have been trying to update this PHSE line and it looks like it has been rejected or something

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2010-2012/0067/amend/ml067-vii.htm

    “The Secretary of State must issue guidance designed to secure that where sex and relationships education is given to registered pupils at schools in England to which this section applies they learn about the nature of marriage, civil partnership, and other strong and stable relationships and their importance for family life and the bringing up of children.”

  20. I wonder if it was this controversy from the Christian inst that nobbled the lib dems attempt to update the line on the “nature of marriage” and the “bringing up of children”

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/peers-attack-christian-institute.html

    Two peers have condemned a “cruel” and “vicious” campaign against them by the Christian Institute which claimed they wanted to make personal, social and health education (PSHE) compulsory for five-year-olds. This includes education about sex and relationships…..

    We need this line updated to at least include CPs ie the nature of marriage and CP….are both important for the bringing up of children …this must be equality with these 2 institions at least!!

  21. My Bible:

    “And, ye muppets, provoke not the wonderful gays to wrath: or so you risk admonition of the delete function of Pink News.”

    This is the word of me.

    Which is obviously more permanent than the scribblings of some ex-gay park cruisers we know of…. Keith*cough* Ahem.

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