The Christian Institute

News Release

Christian school governors urged to check school relationships & sex ed policies for unlawful trans ideology

Christian school governors are being urged to carefully check their school’s Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policies ahead of the first governors’ meetings of the new academic year.

The plea comes from a Christian mum who was recently reinstated as a parent governor following an order made by the High Court. A Gateshead primary school had removed her for raising concerns that resources promoting highly-contested gender ideology were set to be used in the classroom without the Governing Body properly considering if they breached education law.

She says her reinstatement should encourage all Christian governors because it reaffirms their legal duty to ensure that political ideology is not forced on children.

‘Susan’ (not her real name), has been granted anonymity by the Court in order to protect her own children who attend the primary school.

She said: “As a school governor, at the start of the new academic year you are often presented with so many school policies to formally adopt that it might be tempting to simply rubber-stamp them. However, I urge all Christian, indeed any, governors to inspect their school’s RSE policies very carefully. When I did, I was shocked.”

Susan said her school’s policy resulted in lesson plans which encouraged children to question their own gender identity, and talk about any concerns they may have with outside groups – but failed to mention parents. It also approved use of the discredited ‘Genderbread Person’ graphic, teaching children that ‘gender identity’, ‘gender expression’ and biological sex can all be different – and exist anywhere on a scale from 0-100. It also claims that being a ‘man’, or a ‘woman’ is determined by personality, hobbies and clothes – not biology.

Susan said: “I was concerned at the devastation that might be done to children from teaching gender ideology. In my case I was a lone voice. Huge pressure was put on me and eventually I was forced out.

“It took legal action to get both the Governing Body and Local Authority to accept that the decision to remove me was unlawful. But this admission, and my reinstatement by the High Court, has reaffirmed a governor’s rightful, legal responsibility to question policies to ensure that everything done in the school is lawful and keeps the best interests of pupils in mind.

“I encourage all governors to investigate what’s in their own RSE policy and question what resources are being used in their school.”

Susan had the backing of The Christian Institute (CI) in her legal case, and it is supporting her call for Christian governors to be proactive in digging deeper into their school’s RSE policies and practice.

Ciarán Kelly, the Institute’s Deputy Director, said: “It is clear to us that in many schools today, resources promoted by Stonewall and other groups include the discredited idea that ‘gender identity’ can be different from biological sex – an idea that has no basis in science.

“Many policies give little or no consideration to what is suitable for the age, or religious background of the pupils the lessons will be foisted upon.”

The CI has highlighted that the Genderbread Person in particular is used to teach a number of widely contested perspectives, including that: a person’s “Woman-ness” or “Man-ness” is determined by their “personality traits, job, hobbies, likes, dislikes, roles, expectations”, and that a person’s “Femininity” or “Masculinity” is determined by their “style, grooming, clothing, mannerisms, affect, appearance, hair, make-up”.

In assessing policies and practices, the CI says governors should bear in mind four key legal principles.

Firstly, a Governing Body must forbid “the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school”. [1]

Secondly, it must “take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils while they are in attendance at a maintained school … they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.” [2]

Then in the teaching of Relationships, Sex, and Health Education, the Governing Body must have “regard to the age and the religious background of pupils”. [3]

Finally, Governors should ensure that schools “should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political positions on matters”. And that resources used in teaching “must always be age-appropriate and evidence based. Materials which suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity should not be used and you should not work with external agencies or organisations that produce such material”. [4]

Mr Kelly added: “Susan’s case sends a strong message to school governors that the law is on their side in asking detailed questions, scrutinising policies and always seeking the very best education for the children for whom they are responsible.

“If any governor – or indeed any parent or teacher – needs help or advice, our education team will be glad to help in the strictest of confidence.”

To access The Christian Institute’s education resources, visit


Notes for editors:

[1] Section 406(1)(b) of the Education Act 1996

[2] Section 407(1) of the Education Act 1996

[3] Section 80A(2)(b) of the Education Act 2002