The Christian Institute

News Release

Education Bill: Institute backs marriage move and corporal punishment amendment

The Christian Institute today gave public backing to two amendments to the Education Bill. The first by Edward Leigh requires schools to promote marriage; the second by James Pawsey re-introduces corporal punishment in schools.

Promoting Marriage

Edward Leigh’s amendment comes in the week that both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church rejected the latest proposals on the teaching of marriage from the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Colin Hart, Director of the Institute said today,

“After initially refusing to include marriage in its new moral code, the Chief Executive of SCAA backed the inclusion of a weak reference to ‘supporting the institution of marriage’ in schools. This was only after the public intervention of the Secretary of State and national opinion polls showing that 75% believe marriage should be positively promoted in schools.”

Edward Leigh’s excellent amendment would ensure that schools prepare pupils for the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood as well as for the other responsibilities of adult life. I very much hope it is accepted by the Government.”

Corporal Punishment

Simon Calvert, the Institute’s Legal Affairs Officer commented on Mr Pawsey’s amendment: “Over 90% of parents back the physical punishment of children in the home. Nearly 70% back the re-introduction of corporal punishment in schools. Now MPs have a chance to vote on the issue.

Mr Pawsey’s amendment would only permit corporal punishment if a pupil was about to be excluded and the school and the parents believed it to be appropriate. I am sure that the overwhelming majority of parents would back the move. The amendment is very moderate and reasonable. It seems to us to have completely removed any question of a conflict with European Law.”

Note to Editors The Christian Institute researches into social and ethical questions from a Christian perspective.