The UK Government has previously published very helpful guidance to protect the position of parents, pupils and teachers who believe in traditional marriage. New regulations threaten to undo all this good work.
Academies, free schools and independent schools in England will all be affected by proposed new Government standards. They will now be required to ‘actively promote’ the rights defined in the Equality Act 2010, which would include same-sex marriage.
The Department for Education (DfE) claims anti-extremism measures promote ‘British values’ and are required in the wake of the recent ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal. But it is difficult to see how promoting same-sex marriage addresses extremist ideology of the sort seen in Birmingham. The Government has made the mistake of equating ‘British values’ with political correctness.
The Association of School and College Leaders have also warned that the plans are rushed and could limit free speech with teachers becoming reluctant to discuss controversial topics.