Children in Church of England schools could be given sex education materials provided by gay rights groups, according to new guidance launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Critics have raised concerns that within the 72 page guidance, produced by the Church of England, Stonewall is mentioned more than Jesus Christ.
“I think a lot of C of E schools are going to think that balance is wrong”, said Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute.
“Bullying is evil and Church schools should tackle it in a distinctively Christian way”, he explained.
“All schools should deal properly with any kind of bullying but sadly this guidance seems to encourage C of E schools to subcontract their ethics to Stonewall and Channel 4, whose materials fundamentally oppose church teaching”, he said.
The guidance, entitled Valuing All God’s Children, was launched earlier this week in a response to the Archbishop’s comments last July stating that the Church needed to face up to the sexual revolution and develop a teaching programme for its schools.
The suggested resources within the guidance include Channel 4’s controversial Living and Growing DVD. The original edition was widely criticised as being too explicit.
In 2012, a Government minister commented: “Parents will be shocked that this type of material is present in primary schools and even more surprised that councils are recommending it”.
Channel 4 later released an alternative version after the then schools minister Nick Gibb ordered the broadcaster to tone down the video’s explicit content.
The new C of E guidance also recommends other Stonewall-related materials including King and King, which is a children’s picture book about a prince marrying another prince.
The Archbishop, Justin Welby, said: “No sense of something being right or wrong justifies another wrong”.
Writing in the i newspaper, which is published by The Independent, the Archbishop admitted that one major challenge would be “the complexity of combating homophobic bullying while still teaching the traditional Anglican view of marriage, especially in the light of the revolutionary change to its legal definition for the accommodation of same-sex couples”.
He added: “My hope and prayer is for this new guidance to become a significant tool for helping church schools develop and sustain consistency between our Christian values and the daily experience of pupils in our care.”
“The whole package is based on a false premise – the notion that homophobic bullying needs particular attention”, said Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the C of E’s General Synod and Director of Christian Concern.
“We need to stop all bullying”, she added.
In 2011 Stonewall announced it intended to spend tens of thousands of pounds on sending a “teacher training pack” to every primary school in Britain.
The training pack included a DVD containing some highly controversial “best practice” tips from primary teachers.
The DVD showed teachers recommending that boys in primary school should be encouraged to try on dresses or dance with pompoms in the cheerleading team.
And one head teacher even said that pupils should be taught to be resilient to the values of their parents and grandparents.