EXCLUSIVE: EA tells Institute why it hopes Cornerstone wins Ofsted battle

The Evangelical Alliance (EA) has expressed its support for the Christian fostering and adoption agency Cornerstone in its legal case against Ofsted.

Dr David Landrum, EA’s Director of Advocacy, criticised Ofsted for downgrading the agency’s fostering service from ‘Good’ to ‘Requires Improvement’ because of its religious ethos.

Speaking exclusively to The Christian Institute, which is giving legal support to Cornerstone in its High Court battle, he accused the inspectorate of using its power to promote a “secular liberalism”.

‘Puzzling and disturbing’

Dr Landrum said: “Cornerstone have a wonderful, illustrious history of helping children to get fostered and supporting families, and they’re greatly appreciated by many of the agencies that they deal with in the work that they do.

we will be watching this case with great interest

“So Ofsted’s unprompted decision to downgrade this work apparently on the basis of the evangelical theology that Cornerstone has, and the very thing that inspires Cornerstone and sustains it in this work is puzzling and it’s disturbing as well.

“Not only does this represent an attempt to redefine the law without any real parliamentary scrutiny, unchecked I think it has the potential to greatly weaken the role of religion in civil society.”

‘Secular liberalism’

He continued: “As we’ve seen recently, we really need an active and vibrant place for religion in civil society, especially now.

“Although Chief Inspector of Ofsted Amanda Spielman once called for a more ‘muscular, liberal approach’, I would say that given the ideological nature of what’s been done here, this is more akin to a secular liberalism than a muscular liberalism.

“I hope that the courts see that and make the right judgment on it, and we will be watching this case with great interest.”

More information on the Cornerstone case.

Also see:

Ofsted savaged at High Court for saying Christian groups should keep out of the public square

Christian fostering agency challenges anti-religious Ofsted report

Related Resources