Christians welcome re-drafting of teaching code
Christian teachers in Wales have succeeded in changing a new draft professional code which would have required them to respect gay rights against their conscience. In their new code, launched today, the General Teaching Council for Wales has decided to re-draft the controversial code of conduct, following its consultation.
The original code required all registered teachers to respect the “rights and needs of pupils, colleagues and others” having regard to, among other things, “sexual orientation”. Christian teachers argued that respect should be for people not for their behaviour.
But the re-drafted code now says that teachers are “committed to providing equal opportunities to pupils, colleagues and others” having regard to, among other things, “sexual orientation”.
Chris Hess, Director of the Association of Christian Teachers in Wales, said today: “I am delighted that the ambiguous words ‘rights and needs’ are no longer used. I think the new phrasing is broad enough not to cause problems in the future for Christian teachers.”
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, added:
“We are delighted that the GTCW have re-drafted their code to focus on equality of opportunity in education irrespective of background. This is something which everyone can support. It gets to the heart of what the GTCW wanted to achieve in this aspect of their code.
No doubt better wording could have been found, but we recognise that the GTCW has made a genuine attempt to take on board Christian concerns. Our legal advice is that the new wording is a significant change, particularly when taken with the existing safeguards that already apply to teachers. I am glad that the GTCW has listened to Christian teachers’ concerns and re-drafted the code.”