Is an assurance given about method.. how to.. the same as an assurance given about content ..?
It appears that Oona Stannard, Chief Executive of the Catholic Education Service of Engand and Wales thinks so.
A little background:
The CES published a 'myth busting' statement on17/12/2009, in which it claimed:
"The proposals announced by Ed Balls today (5th November) confirm that, from September 2011, Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, including Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), will be compulsory in all schools. We welcome the Government's reiteration of its support for the important principles underlining SRE [Sex and Relationship Education], which emphasise that schools continue to have the legal right to determine the content of what is taught in PSHE within their schools and that governing bodies retain the right to determine what is taught, and must determine this in line with the ethos of the school."
In an article published in last week's Catholic Herald, Eric Hester laid down the gauntlet:
"I publicly challenge the CES to obtain from any Government Minister a statement that it is true that school governors can "determine the content" of what is taught in sex education and can omit anything that they do not like. Everything the Government has said is to the contrary. Under the Freedom of Education Act I have obtained correspondence between the CES and the Government, where the CES asks for that very assurance and is not given it. "
In her response to what she describes as 'misleading reports' in the Catholic Herald, Oona Stannard quotes from the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, who gave this assurance in the House of Commons on 11 January 2010:
“The decision to make sex and relationship education statutory is, I think, supported by all political parties, but it is essential that it is taught in line with the ethos, including the faith, of the school. That is clear in the legislation: it is clear that parents as well as school governors will have a say in how the subject is taught, while there is also a parental opt-out, which will apply to pupils until they are 15. I can thus give the hon. Gentleman the complete assurance that the school will be in charge of how to teach SRE, but the fact of teaching it will be in law and guaranteed to all children."
Surely Oona Stannard, a former HMI, must understand the distinction between 'what is taught' and 'how it is taught'?