Thoughts about the Catholic Faith, family, education, disability and probably more.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
CES Statement on the Sex Education Bill (3rd Reading)
"CESEW Statement regarding Amendment 70 to the Children, Schools
and Families Bill (23 February 2010)
Following the Third Reading of the Children, Schools and Families Bill, Amendment 70 has been accepted as part of the Bill. The amendment is as follows:
Page 14, line 6 [Clause 11], at end insert—
‘(7A) Subsections (4) to (7) are not to be read as preventing the governing body or head teacher of a school within subsection (7B) from causing or allowing PSHE to be taught in a way that reflects the school’s religious character.
(7B) A school is within this subsection if it is designated as a school having a religious character by an order made by the Secretary of State under section 69(3) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.’.
The governing bodies and head teachers of Voluntary Aided schools are required to conduct their schools in accordance with their Instrument of Government and the Trust Deed under which they operate. The provisions of the amendment will enable schools with a religious character to fulfil these requirements in the teaching of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education, which includes Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).
The teaching of all aspects of the curriculum in Catholic schools reflects their religious ethos. In the same way, the SRE in Catholic schools will be rooted in the Catholic Church’s
teaching of the profound respect for the dignity of all human persons."
The disingenuity of this statement is, in my view, quite staggering. The Catholic Education Service has failed to tell the whole truth about what is proposed in this Bill with regard to the Sex and Relationships element.
As Fr Finigan and others have said, the amendment is worthless:
"since all schools, including Catholic schools, will still be
required to give information about contraception,
abortion, and homosexual partnerships: and they must
teach a "range of views." In other words, whatever they
do in terms of presenting teaching in a way that reflects
the religious character of the school, they are not allowed
to teach that Catholic doctrine is true."
The question, which the CES's statement has ignored, remains:
Does the teaching of the Catholic Church permit for
Catholic schools to teach children how and where they
can access contraception and abortion?