Barred Christian group ‘unfairly tarnished’, says headteacher

The headteacher of a Church of England primary school has said a Christian group barred from assemblies “do not deserve the tarnishing of their good name”.

Crossteach has been working in the school for sixteen years but a small number of parents recently complained, forcing the head to reluctantly limit their involvement.

Wayne Harris, Crossteach’s National Director, said he strongly refutes the parents’ claims and noted that schools have consistently praised the organisation’s work.

‘Sad reflection’

Affinity, an umbrella organisation of which Crossteach is a member, said it was a “sad reflection on the misunderstanding and suspicion there is about Christianity in Britain today”.

Some parents at St John’s Church of England Primary School in Tunbridge Wells alleged their children had been exposed to ‘upsetting’ beliefs – including marriage and life after death.

…sad reflection on the misunderstanding and suspicion there is about Christianity in Britain today

Affinity

The campaign took place over a number of months, forcing headteacher Dan Turvey to take the ‘saddening’ action.

‘Nothing wrong’

He told parents: “After careful consideration I have decided that we will end our regular commitment to CrossTeach and that they will no longer lead assemblies or take lessons.”

Turvey added: “I do not believe CrossTeach has done anything wrong”. “They do not deserve the tarnishing of their good name and allegations of extremism that have taken place over the last few months”, he said.

The group will continue to be allowed to hold an after-school club.

Targeted campaign

Crossteach told the media that the “quiet majority of parents” are happy but, “there has been a deliberate and targeted campaign organised by a small group of parents over a number of months”.

Expressing its own sadness over the move, Affinity noted that some of the claims from disgruntled parents were “taken from assemblies which had nothing to do with Crossteach or from events at local churches”.

Affinity’s Director Graham Nicholls said there was “nothing unusual about what Crossteach are doing, they’re just teaching what Christians have always believed from the Bible”.

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