'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

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'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:33 am

Education secretary says Equality Act does not extend to school curriculum – allowing faith schools to use homophobic material.


Michael Gove: 'Any materials used in sex and relationship education lessons... will not be subject to the discrimination provisions of the act.' Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Michael Gove, the education secretary, is at the centre of an escalating row over how faith schools discuss homosexuality in sex education classes.

The TUC has accused Gove of failing in his legal duties by insisting that equality laws, which prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, do not extend to the school curriculum.

The TUC complains that the current situation sends mixed signals to the playground, because schools are legally obliged to condemn discrimination on sexual-orientation grounds but free to use religious materials that equality campaigners claim is homophobic.

Brendan Barber, the TUC's general secretary, wrote to Gove in December expressing alarm that a booklet containing "homophobic material" had been distributed by a US preacher after talks to pupils at Roman Catholic schools across the Lancashire region in 2010.

The booklet, "Pure Manhood: How to become the man God wants you to be", discusses a boy dealing with "homosexual attractions" which it suggested may "stem from an unhealthy relationship with his father, an inability to relate to other guys, or even sexual abuse".

The booklet, which claims that "scientifically speaking, safe sex is a joke", explains that "the homosexual act is disordered, much like contraceptive sex between heterosexuals. Both acts are directed against God's natural purpose for sex – babies and bonding."

Referring to the Equality Act 2010, which prohibits discrimination against individuals, Barber said: "Schools now have a legal duty to challenge all forms of prejudice. Such literature undermines this completely."

But Gove insists: "The education provisions of the Equality Act 2010 which prohibit discrimination against individuals based on their protected characteristics (including their sexual orientation) do not extend to the content of the curriculum. Any materials used in sex and relationship education lessons, therefore, will not be subject to the discrimination provisions of the act."

Gove's response has triggered anger from the TUC. "Having written to the education secretary to express our worry about the distribution of homophobic literature in faith schools, his lack of concern is very alarming," Barber said.

A DfE spokesman insisted: "Any school engaging in the promotion of homophobic material would be acting unlawfully." But the row highlights a grey area over the teaching of sex education. A review intended to provide new guidelines on what was appropriate for schools to teach was kicked into the long grass when the last election was called.

"It would certainly be helpful if there was clarity as to what is appropriate for young people of all ages," said Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay rights group Stonewall. "The water could no longer be muddied by people pushing age-inappropriate sex material on the one hand and fundamentalist anti-gay religious materials on the other."

The row comes at the end of an extraordinary week in which the role of religion in society has come under acute scrutiny.

The chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, said religious rules should be left "at the door of the temple" and give way to the "public law" laid down by parliament. Phillips said: "Once you start to provide public services that have to be run under public rules – for example, child protection – then it has to go with public law." Phillips spoke out after Baroness Warsi, the Tory minister, warned Britain was under threat from a rising tide of "militant secularisation".

Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, warned that Christianity was being marginalised. Days earlier, the high court ruled that councils had no statutory power to hold prayers in meetings, while the Christian owners of a bed-and-breakfast lost an appeal against a ruling that their policy of restricting double rooms to married couples discriminated against a gay couple.

Concerns that faith matters are being marginalised at school has prompted the creation of a new coalition of faith groups and politicians. The Religious Education Council of England and Wales is to back the creation of an all-party parliamentary group that will focus on protecting religious education in schools and stressing its value to young people.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/feb/18/anti-gay-book-gove-row

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:15 am

Once again faith and secular values collide. This will not stop until we remove the franchise of faith schools altogether. This will of course be cast by less credible news sources (I'm thinking of one in particular) as another attack on religious freedom by militant (gays/secularists/liberals whatever). It is not however; how can we bring our children up with shared values with conflicting issues like this? Not only regarding homosexuality but contraception too. We cannot have funding going to schools where kids are being taught dated beliefs which run contrary to the values of modern society. The govt need to stop pumping out this warm wishy washy where Christianity is concerned and address contradictions in schools of all faiths.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:42 am

Wonder why the equality laws dont extend to the school curriculum?

We have a situation here where the public purse is paying for these schools to teach ideals that basically break the law on equality.

I am not against faith schools as such but I think they should be privately funded and have to adhere to the national curriculum and the laws of the land.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:31 pm

I have to say I agree with Eilzel, teaching dated beliefs isn't going to help prepare children for life in today's world.

Teaching should be just that, teaching not judgement and should never encourage discrimination. It's important that these kinds of issues are discussed in an open, factual and honest way, without prejudice.

I wouldn't say I'm against faith schools either Nems but I am against brainwashing children. Particularly using religious belief as an excuse No


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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:33 pm

eilzel wrote:Once again faith and secular values collide. This will not stop until we remove the franchise of faith schools altogether. This will of course be cast by less credible news sources (I'm thinking of one in particular) as another attack on religious freedom by militant (gays/secularists/liberals whatever). It is not however; how can we bring our children up with shared values with conflicting issues like this? Not only regarding homosexuality but contraception too. We cannot have funding going to schools where kids are being taught dated beliefs which run contrary to the values of modern society. The govt need to stop pumping out this warm wishy washy where Christianity is concerned and address contradictions in schools of all faiths.
Nothing more to add apart from this is a GVT ot wet lettuces Twisted Evil

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:41 pm

David1 wrote:
Nothing more to add apart from this is a GVT ot wet lettuces Twisted Evil

lol!


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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:09 am

All faith schools should be closed down - NOW. They have no place in modern society. All children should attend state schools whose teaching practices should be universal. Pupils should be taught academic subjects only in local authority schools. All the other non academic ideology is NOT the responsibility of the school. -- Teaching of subjects like religion , diversity issues, cultural differences, sexuality differences etc. are NOT the responsibility of the local authorities but are the parent's responsibility. Our schools should be teaching excellence in subjects which will benifit the child in later life. Not wasting the kids valuable learning time by introducing issues which should be taught in the home..

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:15 am

Well said Fred Smile

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:06 pm

fred bloggs wrote:All faith schools should be closed down - NOW. They have no place in modern society. All children should attend state schools whose teaching practices should be universal. Pupils should be taught academic subjects only in local authority schools. All the other non academic ideology is NOT the responsibility of the school. -- Teaching of subjects like religion , diversity issues, cultural differences, sexuality differences etc. are NOT the responsibility of the local authorities but are the parent's responsibility. Our schools should be teaching excellence in subjects which will benifit the child in later life. Not wasting the kids valuable learning time by introducing issues which should be taught in the home..

Hi again Fred,
I agree and disagree if that makes sense scratch lol!

* Faith schools should be available to parents who choose to educate their children in this manner. I wouldn't send my kids (if I had any) to a faith school. Choice means that there should be an additional expense, not contributed to by the taxpayer.

* "Teaching of subjects like religion , diversity issues, cultural differences, sexuality differences etc. are NOT the responsibility of the local authorities but are the parent's responsibility" I think an awareness of these subjects should be taught in schools. It encourages empathy and understanding of others. Some parents wouldn't have the life experience or knowledge in these areas.

Academic subjects should be given priority of course. For example, I don't believe that there should be specific religious education classes but children need to understand how religion relates to the world today. It is important that children understand the world in which we live and have common sense. It's a good few years since I left school and as I don't have kids I don't know much about it to be honest but lessons in life are important, academic study is important but as in all things, balance is necessary.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:37 pm

I can agree that if a parent wants to send the kid to a fee paying faith school and it is not being paid for by the tax payer, but the parent then that is acceptable. I cannot agree with you FTL, when you say "I think an awareness of these subjects should be taught in schools. It encourages empathy and understanding of others. Some parents wouldn't have the life experience or knowledge in these areas" ---- It's up to the lazy parents to get off their backsides and go to the Library or the internet to get that experience, and spend time teaching their kids what they have learned. ----I cannot see why you are arguing against parental responsibility.
Your last paragraph I cannot agree with. Balance should indeed be struck, but the balance is between academic subjects being taught at school and lessons in life being taught by parents.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:57 pm

fred bloggs wrote:I can agree that if a parent wants to send the kid to a fee paying faith school and it is not being paid for by the tax payer, but the parent then that is acceptable. I cannot agree with you FTL, when you say "I think an awareness of these subjects should be taught in schools. It encourages empathy and understanding of others. Some parents wouldn't have the life experience or knowledge in these areas" ---- It's up to the lazy parents to get off their backsides and go to the Library or the internet to get that experience, and spend time teaching their kids what they have learned. ----I cannot see why you are arguing against parental responsibility.
Your last paragraph I cannot agree with. Balance should indeed be struck, but the balance is between academic subjects being taught at school and lessons in life being taught by parents.

What do we do for these children whose parents cant or wont educate them in such things? Some parents don't accept parental responsibility, what do we do with the offspring of these people?

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:16 am

fred bloggs wrote:I can agree that if a parent wants to send the kid to a fee paying faith school and it is not being paid for by the tax payer, but the parent then that is acceptable. I cannot agree with you FTL, when you say "I think an awareness of these subjects should be taught in schools. It encourages empathy and understanding of others. Some parents wouldn't have the life experience or knowledge in these areas" ---- It's up to the lazy parents to get off their backsides and go to the Library or the internet to get that experience, and spend time teaching their kids what they have learned. ----I cannot see why you are arguing against parental responsibility.
Your last paragraph I cannot agree with. Balance should indeed be struck, but the balance is between academic subjects being taught at school and lessons in life being taught by parents.

Good Morning Fred Very Happy ,

I am not arguing against parental responsibility, I only wish more parents would get off their backsides as you say. However, I am also realistic enough to know that not all parents are prepared to do so. Some parents can't even be bothered to get dressed to take their kids to school No

I can't see those parents researching the internet or visiting a library to educate their kids. Who misses out? The children themselves Sad

I also believe that these subjects ie religion, diversity issues, cultural differences, sexuality differences should be taught in a factual way without bias. Not all parents would be able to do so.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:22 pm

Then your argument is that all the other kids in the school should have their education diminished and curtailed, affecting their future job prospects because of a handful of feckless parents. I totally disagree. ---- Education is so important to a child's future that the precious time in school should be devoted to academic excellence and physical excercise( sport ). So, in conclusion, those kids of the feckless parents will just have to miss out on the side issues of non educational idology. It's no great loss.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:56 pm

Education is about so much more than pure academia. Otherwise why have cookery lessons, sport, RE etc etc etc

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:49 pm

fred bloggs wrote:Then your argument is that all the other kids in the school should have their education diminished and curtailed, affecting their future job prospects because of a handful of feckless parents. I totally disagree. ---- Education is so important to a child's future that the precious time in school should be devoted to academic excellence and physical excercise( sport ). So, in conclusion, those kids of the feckless parents will just have to miss out on the side issues of non educational idology. It's no great loss.

Good Evening Fred Very Happy ,

Education is incredibly important I agree but academic excellence in isolation does not prepare children for a life in today's society. There are very few jobs which require study alone and the vast majority of children need to be prepared to understand how to apply that knowledge in their future careers. They need common sense, sadly lacking in many No

Intelligence is great but if you can't communicate effectively or understand how to apply that information there are very few jobs available to ordinary people. You should see some of the work experience and school leavers I've mentored over the years, unbelievable Shocked

At the very least a basic understanding these issues is important in my opinion although I do agree that older children need to focus intensely on academic subjects.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:20 pm

I would hazard a guess that those school leavers you despair of, who had no knowledge of life, and needed mentoring were NOT from loving homes where they had good parental support and nurtural support. Parents who care about their children would have seen if their children were not sticking in at their studying and would have given moral and learning guidance to make sure their child caught up.

Any child is what their parents bring them up to be.

Good loving parents = Children with a future.

Lazy feckless parents = Children with NO future.

Obviously there will be the odd exception. But it is down to the standard of parenting. -- An observation I'm sure that we are in agreement on..

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:42 pm

fred bloggs wrote:I would hazard a guess that those school leavers you despair of, who had no knowledge of life, and needed mentoring were NOT from loving homes where they had good parental support and nurtural support. Parents who care about their children would have seen if their children were not sticking in at their studying and would have given moral and learning guidance to make sure their child caught up.

Any child is what their parents bring them up to be.

Good loving parents = Children with a future.

Lazy feckless parents = Children with NO future.

Obviously there will be the odd exception. But it is down to the standard of parenting. -- An observation I'm sure that we are in agreement on..

Yes, we agree Fred cheers

I'm not a parent and I know it's not easy but it's such an important role. Bringing up kids shouldn't be an inconvenience, secondary to whatever else is going on in your life.

When I see people screaming at their kids and dragging them through town it drives me crazy. People should have children for the right reasons, not just because it's what is expected. I do try not to judge where I haven't walked a day in people's shoes but it is hard to watch, heartbreaking in fact.

A life time commitment which can be very rewarding. Another one of those situations where you get out just what you put in. Unfortunately many don't put in enough No

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:43 pm

It is good to agree on important family related issues- makes for a relaxed and pleasant debating experience Thanks FTL Regards Fred

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by victorismyhero on Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:26 pm

fred bloggs wrote:I would hazard a guess that those school leavers you despair of, who had no knowledge of life, and needed mentoring were NOT from loving homes where they had good parental support and nurtural support. Parents who care about their children would have seen if their children were not sticking in at their studying and would have given moral and learning guidance to make sure their child caught up.

Any child is what their parents bring them up to be.

Good loving parents = Children with a future.

Lazy feckless parents = Children with NO future.

Obviously there will be the odd exception. But it is down to the standard of parenting. -- An observation I'm sure that we are in agreement on..


Agreed fred...BUT, very simplistic, and of course as such doomed to failure since life is not simplistic...

for all that you say is true, it still then leaves the question of what do we do about the MANY MANY kids, who through no fault of their own fail because of their parents??? It would be immoral to penalise them becuase of the failings of their parents...even the bible recognises this when it says "visit not the sins of the father on the children"(of course it then promptly contradicts itself but thats the bible for you, nothing if not inconsistant) but the thing is of course that that point is true...you cannot punish a future generation for the failings of the previous one...a point drinky makes vis-a-vis the national debt......
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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:46 pm

Good Afternoon Victor, hope you are well Very Happy x

I can't speak for Fred and wouldn't even begin to but that is certainly not what I meant No

Every single child deserves the best start in life, the best education that we can possibly provide. It's not about punishing kids for the failing of their parents. However we package this up it has to be a fact that having loving parent(s) who set a good example, put their children first, get involved in their education, install a sense of morality will make a massive difference to that child's upbringing.

Teachers have their part to play of course and as I've said above, I believe in a well rounded education. Teachers can't replace parents though and those who are unlucky enough not to have good parents who take that responsibility seriously I believe are at a disadvantage, through no fault of their own Sad

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:52 pm

Feelthelove wrote:Good Afternoon Victor, hope you are well Very Happy x

I can't speak for Fred and wouldn't even begin to but that is certainly not what I meant No

Every single child deserves the best start in life, the best education that we can possibly provide. It's not about punishing kids for the failing of their parents. However we package this up it has to be a fact that having loving parent(s) who set a good example, put their children first, get involved in their education, install a sense of morality will make a massive difference to that child's upbringing.

Teachers have their part to play of course and as I've said above, I believe in a well rounded education. Teachers can't replace parents though and those who are unlucky enough not to have good parents who take that responsibility seriously I believe are at a disadvantage, through no fault of their own Sad

Thats exactly it FTL, someone has to care for and nurture these children or we are just storing up even more problems.
It is very simplistic of Fred to say children are a parents responsibility. He refuses to answer when asked what do we do with all those children whose parents cannot or will not provide an ideal environment for a child.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:03 pm

Nems Again wrote:

Thats exactly it FTL, someone has to care for and nurture these children or we are just storing up even more problems.
It is very simplistic of Fred to say children are a parents responsibility. He refuses to answer when asked what do we do with all those children whose parents cannot or will not provide an ideal environment for a child.

I'll let Fred answer that one! Very Happy

I understand exactly what you are saying and we can do our best by providing a good level education but we can't replace what they are missing out on at home. How can we? Short of taking these children and putting them with loving families who take that responsibility seriously what can we do?

Ultimately children are their parents responsibility. Pretty much anyone can have them regardless of ability. The most important job in the world and you don't need a CV or an interview. If you cock it up, who gets hurt, the child? And guess what, you can do it again and again and again and again................It's wrong, very wrong but there is nothing we can do about it Evil or Very Mad

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:10 pm

Feelthelove wrote:

I'll let Fred answer that one! Very Happy

I understand exactly what you are saying and we can do our best by providing a good level education but we can't replace what they are missing out on at home. How can we? Short of taking these children and putting them with loving families who take that responsibility seriously what can we do?

Ultimately children are their parents responsibility. Pretty much anyone can have them regardless of ability. The most important job in the world and you don't need a CV or an interview. If you cock it up, who gets hurt, the child? And guess what, you can do it again and again and again and again................It's wrong, very wrong but there is nothing we can do about it Evil or Very Mad

Lets not hold our breath!!!
It is the children that suffer and thats wrong, lots of the good that was done is being undone. Closing sure start centres, withdrawing funding for parenting programmes etc etc its the children that will suffer and will go on to behave in exactly the same way.

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:20 pm

You'd think that that these kinds of projects would be getting more focus not less. I know that the Government is cutting funding left right and centre but is this really a cost effective strategy???

Surely investment in the young and raising responsible decent adults has to be key longer term?

I could be wrong but it's feels as though the basics are being forgotten and that really concerns me. I do question what is in store for us in the coming years. I've never been more worried about what the future holds No

It's as though the world's gone mad and no-one has a clue what they are doing

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Re: 'Anti-gay' book puts Gove at centre of faith school teaching row

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:42 pm

All the services and projects that can make a difference to the lives of the poor and the vulnerable are being slashed, all that has been done wasted.



Sometimes its like the last 20 plus years never happened

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