A quick recap on this equalities and school policies issue so far.


People are probably getting lost in my many posts on this issue so too recap:

My main issues are

a) I’ve found 100’s of schools with problematic policies relating to the EXACT wording of current DfE SRE Guidance documentation. (DfE whilst mounting a challenge to those include “must not promote homosexuality” are keeping quiet on what they think of those that say “must not promote sexual orientation” given this is in their own current guidance for schools)
b) DfE removed “legalisation of homosexuality and abortion” from previous to latest draft history curriculum.
c) DfE for deliberately removed gender identity from a specific equal opportunities statement from previous draft.

I have real issues with the phrasing of the current SRE guidance and I have been wondering for months if it might be in breach of equality act.  It is very clear schools are confused with their rights and responsibilities on this issue especially given that
one of the schools with a problematic policy has published their equality policy online it states “we do not promote one life style choice over another” (implying sexual orientation or gender identity is a lifestyle choice, sigh.)

Will keep you posted.

Teaching about Abortion in Schools


*bangs on a drum loudly until have attention of all teachers across the land*

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Inviting anti-abortion organisations into schools IS ABSOLUTELY NOT “enabling students to be able to come to a balanced view of the topic” (as one teacher claimed when the Guardian exposed what was being covered by such organisations*)

The Fab Education for Choice put it far better than I ever could:

Schools often like to stimulate interesting debate about abortion by inviting speakers from pro-choice organisations to balance the views given by ‘pro-life’ (anti-abortion) organisations. Anti-abortion organisations think that abortion is unacceptable in any situation and would like to see the practice outlawed. The opposing view to this would be a pro-abortion stance – the view that abortion is always the right solution to unwanted pregnancy. This is not a view held by any organisation. Instead, agencies that value young people’s health and recognise their rights will support an individual to make their own decision about pregnancy for themselves. The view of these organisations is balanced, in and of itself.

Debating the issues from a pro-abortion v anti-abortion perspective does not help young people to acquire the attitudes, skills and knowledge they need to be able to make their own, informed choices about sex, pregnancy and abortion. Instead it simplifies the issues, stigmatises abortion as an option, and polarises the discussion, which the Department for Education advises against:
“It is all too easy to create a classroom debate in which pupils’ views become polarised and miss the purpose of sex and relationship education in preparing pupils for the responsibilities and challenges of adult life. When abortion is covered within a programme, the challenge is to offer young people the opportunity to explore the dilemmas, enable them to know and understand about abortion, and develop the communication skills to discuss it with parents and health professionals.”
Sex and Relationship Education Guidance, DfEE, 2000

For more information please go and read their brilliant- Abortion Education Toolkit.

Please please very carefully consider any outside speaker you invite into your school and use this excellent guidance from the Sex Education Forum to guide you.

 

*and please note some anti-abortion organisations have been exposed several times to be peddling in lies and truth distortions which simply is not right or fair to our young people.

Rant Over.