Stonewall dogma has been unduly influencing Ofsted inspections, The Christian Institute has warned.
Refusing to promote radical transgender ideology in education should never be seen as a problem by the schools regulator, the Institute’s Education Officer John Denning has said.
Mr Denning’s remarks follow revelations that Ofsted has been citing a lack of teaching on “gender diversity”, “gender reassignment” and “gender identity” among reasons for giving schools low ratings.
Mr Denning said: “Ofsted has had a long history with Stonewall, causing major problems for some schools with a religious ethos and pushing a skewed approach in all schools.
“The content of the curriculum is exempt from the Equality Act but academies and fee paying schools in England are required by separate legislation to promote principles which encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the nine protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act.
“Promoting respect for people is not the same as promoting Stonewall’s view on the two protected characteristics of sexual orientation and gender reassignment, the only ones on which Ofsted generally comments. Doing so breaches schools’ duties of political impartiality and respect for parents’ and children’s beliefs.
“Statutory guidance on Relationships and Sex Education also tells schools they should ‘teach about LGBT’, but that it is up to them to judge when to do this. There is no requirement it is covered in Primary schools. It’s about time Ofsted started focussing on inspecting schools’ compliance with English law, not ‘Stonewall Law’.”
Over the weekend The Daily Telegraph highlighted the plight of two faith-based primary schools – one Jewish, one Roman Catholic – which were given “requires improvement” grades by Ofsted.
In inspection reports, both schools were told by the regulator of the need to improve their teaching on “gender identity” or “gender diversity”.
A school for three to 16-year-olds, rated “inadequate”, was also reported to lack teaching on “gender reassignment”, and a secondary school was advised to teach more on “gender identities” if it wanted to improve its rating.
Ofsted has previously spoken out in favour of schools adopting “muscular liberalism” and endorsed the use of pro-trans material.
It left Stonewall’s controversial pro-trans ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme last year, after the inspection reports in question had been issued.
A guide to what schools can and can’t do in the name of equality and human rights
Christian teachers, parents and pupils are increasingly facing difficulties as the education system becomes more secular. Pressure groups with their own agendas are approaching schools offering advice, training and resources. Often this is backed up with vague appeals to the ‘Equality Act’ to make schools feel they have no alternative but to follow the advice given.