The Christian Institute

News Release

Head to back Education Bill – Amendments in Bolton Speech

In a speech to be given at Bolton School on Thursday 7th November, John Burn, Principal of Emmanuel College, Gateshead and Chairman of the Christian Institute will call on MPs to back amendments to the Education Bill to ensure that marriage is promoted in schools and that there is a free vote on the restoration of regulated corporal punishment under the direction of the Headteacher.

A speech by Mr Burn, former Government Education Adviser on September 19th led to two national newspapers launching campaigns to bring back corporal punishment.

Speaking today, Mr Burn said

“I have always argued that the overwhelming majority of parents support the restoration of corporal punishment. In the past few days four public opinion polls have shown that 70% back this move. I am delighted that so many MPs have shown an interest in this issue, including Mrs Gillian Shephard. “

A moral mish-mash

Mr Burn’s speech will also call into question the controversial moral guidance issued by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority which has been attacked by the Education Secretary for its failure to mention marriage.

Mr Burn said today “SCAA have adopted the same confused smorgasbord approach to morality as they have to religious education. Its latest proposals constitute a moral mish-mash.

“The omission of marriage from SCAA’s statement of values is a tragic error of judgement. The matter is so serious that I urge MPs to place a statutory duty to promote marriage on schools and the Qualifications and National Curriculum Authority (QNCA) – new body which replaces SCAA”

John Burn is speaking with Nigel McQuoid on Christianity across the Curriculum at Bolton School Arts and Conference Centre on Thursday 7th November 7.30pm – 9.15pm in a Christian Institute open meeting.

Further details are available from the Christian Institute or from Philip Gore on 01204 63798.

(1)Rodgers J et al, The effect of no-fault divorce law on the Divorce Rate Journal of Marriage and the Family 57(May 1995): 477-488

(2)The States that are presently considering legislation are Iowa, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Alabama, and Georgia. There are also reports of campaigns or attempts to repeal legislation in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Washington, Indiana, Kansas and Florida.

See press reports in The Washington Post, 25/2/96 and 7/3/96; USA Today 12/3/96 [claims 18 states]; The Los Angeles Times 3/3/96; USA Today 25/2/96; Herald Tribune 13/2/96; Newsweek 18/3/96; Wall Street Journal 5/1/96; The New York Times 20/2/96.