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.
The Minister for Women and Equalities has hit out at new LGBT guidance for schools, which she says is not Government-approved.
Free to Be, which was created by EqualiTeach, aims to transform “the whole school environment into a space committed to embedding LGBT+ equality and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying”.
It was partly funded by the Government Equalities Office, and initially displayed the GEO logo on its cover, but Equalities Minister Liz Truss has said it should not have done so, and it has now been removed.
In an online statement, Truss said: “This document was not approved by government. It does not reflect government policy. The GEO logo should not be on it and I have asked for it to be removed.”
The document claims schools have a legal and moral duty to embed LGBT teaching in the curriculum, and suggests that schools should ignore the concerns of parents and carers who object.
It also encouraged schools to ignore advice from groups such as Transgender Trend, A Woman’s Place UK and Fair Play for Women, because they do not fully endorse the affirmative approach to gender confusion.
It claimed that following their advice would “create environments that may be unsafe for gender-questioning or transgender young people”.
The Free to Be guidance also advises schools to get parents to sign a ‘home-school agreement’, in which the parent or carer promises to support the school’s stance on LGBT equality.
It said: “Explain to parents and carers what the school expects from them and their child(ren) and what they can expect in return from the school.
“This should be signed by parents/carers and by the young people themselves when they are old enough and can be used to remind parents/carers of the school’s stance on equality, and their promise to support the school in this endeavour, if needs be.”
Last month, the Equalities Minister announced several changes to gender law were soon to be introduced, including reinforcing protections for single-sex spaces.
Free to Be undermines this by claiming: “Young people have the right to access the toilet that corresponds to their gender identity”.
It also falsely claims that “refusing a child or young person access to the changing room or toilet of their gender identity would constitute an act of discrimination”.
Download a copy of our Equipped for Equality briefing, which lays out what schools can and can’t do in the name of equality and human rights.