Sunday, February 21, 2010

Children, Schools and Families Bill

Children, Schools and Families Bill will be debated on Tuesday, It seeks to remove the rights of parents to educate and control the education of their children on matters of sex education and place those rights in the hands of the state. It is important we YOU contact you MP to express concern!
As there seems to be some confusion over the attitude of the heirarchy to this issue it might useful to contact Bishop McMahon, or at least his secretary, to ask, respectfully, why the Catholic Education Service spokesperson Oona Stannard gives the impression they support this legislation.

What does the bill propose?

• the Bill would make sex and relationships education (within Personal, Social, Health and Economic education [PSHE]) a statutory part of the national curriculum. This would mean that parents and governing bodies of local schools would lose discretion over how the subject is taught in schools and, for the first time, primary schools would be legally obliged to provide sex and relationships education from the age of five.

• the Bill would remove from parents the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationship lessons once their children reach the age of 15. Parents are currently able to withdraw their children from sex education classes throughout the years of their compulsory education.

• Implementation of the Bill’s requirements and supplementary legislation on PSHE (including sex and relationships education) would be the responsibility of the head teacher and governing body

• Further guidance on PSHE to which head teachers and the governing body must have regard may be added by the Secretary of State and those nominated by him. [seems to be a virtual carte blanche]
What might the supplementary guidance comprise?

On Monday 25 January 2010 the Department for Children, Schools and Families issued its draft Sex and Relationships Education Guidance

The draft Sex and Relationships Education Guidance (SRE) states:

• SRE should promote awareness, respect [emphasis mine] and understanding for the wide range of practices and beliefs relating to sex and relationships within our society.

• at key stage 2 (ages 8 to 11)  Pupils should be taught to ask themselves:

"What is ... homophobic bullying and what skills do I need to do something about it?"

Pupils should also be able to answer the question:

"How does the sperm and egg meet during sexual intercourse and can conception be prevented?"

• at key stage 3 (ages 11 to 14) pupils should be taught via "the clarification of personal values". [relativism] Pupils will be taught to answer:

"What are sexually transmitted infections, how are they transmitted, treated, tested and prevented (including condoms)?"

"What choices does a woman have if she gets pregnant, including keeping the baby, abortion and adoption?"

"What are the different types of contraception including emergency contraception and how are these used?"

"What can I expect from contraception and sexual health services and where and when are these services available?"

• at key stage 4 (ages 15 and 16),  pupils will be taught how to answer:

"What are the features of different methods of contraception and what protection do they offer in terms of STIs and pregnancy?"

"Is responsibility for contraception and protection shared in relationships and how can responsibility be negotiated?"

"How can I contribute to challenging ...homophobia ...?"


Ttony said...

Good links, Father.

Remember to put on your e-mail to your MP something along the lines of: "The way you vote on this Bill will materially affect the way I vote in the forthcoming General Election".

JARay said...

I cannot convey my abhorrence at this dastardly intrusion into the lives of Catholics within England.
How on earth can you put up with such a government?
From my readings you might well have a hung Parliament, but as one commenter observed "where can I obtain tickets to view the hangings?"
You certainly have the worst government ever!
God help you!
But you are not short of idiots to re-elect the dregs which you have.

George said...

And so of course, the CES having gone through all the points raised in these SRE guidelines, has rejected them 100%, completely and utterly because they are set at the opposite end of the spectrum to the Teaching of the Catholic Church. Yes, honestly folks, it's true! Contraception is a mortal sin. You separate yourself from God if you contracept. Moreover - if you happen to be knocked down by a bus and killed while in this 'state of mortal sin' you will go to Hell!

And if you don't believe me - you will when you get there!

So - are we teaching our children the ways of the world or the Way of God. Our Catholic Schools should carry out their God given duties and 'immunize' our kids against the worst that the world can throw at them and that process should not include collusion with 'the enemy'.

OK so the CES got it BADLY wrong!!! But hey, we have a Bishop at the helm! Bishop McMahon - where are you - please give every office worker at the CES a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and make sure they read and fully understand their job description - C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C
E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N S-E-R-V-I-C-E.

By the way Ttony - "The way you vote on this Bill will materially affect the way I vote in the forthcoming General Election" - yes I would agree with what you say in principle, problem is that the three major UK political parties ALL agree on these sex-ed, anti-life, anti-family and homosex issues. There is not a 'hairs breadth' of difference on issues between them. Nu-Labor, Nu-Tory and Liberal means nothing any more and not a Statesman or woman of any calibre between them. British politics is just a complete shower!

George said...

"You certainly have the worst government ever"! JARay, I believe I'm right in that you reside in the USA - in which case, is this not the perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black? :-)

nickbris said...

I would have a LARGE BET that this Bill has no chance of making it.

It is what you might call a "Fogwash" to appease the "trick Cyclists" and "Comic Singers "

Innocent Smith said...

My own thoughts on these issues here.

Michael Petek said...

According to an article in the Sunday Telegraph today, schools are churning out unemployable youngsters.

The Government hasn't a clue how to prepare children for the workplace by the time they're 16, but they're determined to ensure that, by the time they leave primary school, they know more about sex than my grandparents did.

So our teenagers will continue to churn out babies without the wherewithal to consider marriage at all, let alone provide for them.

Daphne McLeod, who runs Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, has just sent me a flyer from SPUC that says primary schools will be forced to teach sex-and-relationships education from age five.

The impact of this can sexualise young children, destroying trust, innocence, and love.

I would add that the purpose of this is to sexualise young children and attract them at as young an age as possible to a life of promiscuity, so that they will be hostile to Christian truth if they hear it in adulthood.

The SPUC flyer says that secondary schools, including faith schools, will face pressure to link SRE to contraception and abortion services. The Government's advisers want confidential health clinics in all secondary schools so that they can offer teenagers advice on contraception and abortion without their parents' knowledge.

The impact of this is to damage teenagers' health, betray parents and destroy unborn lives.

I would add that the purpose of this is to confirm the purpose of sex education in primary schools and to create a need and a market for abortion services, as well as to destroy the family as a viable social unit.

Ed Balls is telling the truth in a way when he says he wants to cut teenage pregnancies. After all, every abortion cuts the number of teenage pregnancies by one.

Physiocrat said...

One of the last wretched acts of a dying government, but if it makes the statute book, perhaps parents should encourage their children to misbehave in those lessons so they get thrown out of the classes. If a few children misbehaved at the same time the classes would be uncontrollable.

It is a subject which could cause problems for teachers anyway - it reminds me of an incident when my first Latin teacher permanently lost control. We used to have a session when we had to think of English words that come from the Latin ones. One day, the word "durus" (meaning "hard") was on the list. The inevitable happened, the teacher turned as red as a beetroot, the class disintegrated in uproar and never again could Mr Slot regain control. Which was unfortunate as we wasted two terms and I never did well at Latin.

We had various pet animals in the biology lab, otherwise the subject was not discussed in the classroom.

fidelisjoff said...

My own experience is that to stand up for the Catholic ethic in human sexuality leads to abuse, bullying and jeopardizing you and your family's livelihood. Headteachers happily say, to such teachers, that they disagree with the magisterium. Parish priests also have refused to support teachers in such a position. My concern now is also for faithful catholic teachers in non catholic schools who normally have their conscience respected they can now be told your bishops and the CES say you are wrong. This situation has gone on for so long I doubt any current bishop is prepared to rock the boat of secularism which guides catholic headteachers and schools.

JARay said...

George's comment gave me a chuckle.
Where I live George we have a well-known, faithful, Catholic as Leader of the Opposition. His name is Tony Abbott and many refer to him as The Mad Monk. The media are not generally fond of him because of his Catholicity.

gemoftheocean said...

Here's a thought, how about Catholic schools flat out banning this and DARING the government to throw them all in jail?

Because when it comes down to it, all laws are enforced, inevitably, at gunpoint.

Michael Petek said...

The Guardian on Monday 22 February published the following letter from Ed Balls:

"Faith schools will not be able to opt out of statutory lessons on sex and relationship education when the legislation comes into effect in September 2011 (Change to bill 'will deny right to balanced sex education', 19 February). This includes education about contraception and the importance of stable relationships, including marriage and civil partnerships. It will not allow the teaching of homophobia.

All maintained schools and academies will be required to teach the full programmes of study. This includes promoting equality and encouraging acceptance of diversity. All schools must have a zero-tolerance approach to bully­ing and we have issued specific guidance on tackling homophobic bullying.

While schools with a religious character will be free, as now, to express the views of their faith, what they cannot do is suggest that their views are the only ones. All schools will be required to cover in their teaching of personal, social and health education the full range of content prescribed in the statutory programme of study for secondary schools and in the relevant parts of the new primary curriculum.

The bottom line is that all young people should receive accurate and ­balanced information and discrimination is prevented in all schools."

In other words, a Catholic school won't be allowed to teach Catholic truth as true.

And if Catholic parents withdraw their children from school to homeschool them, you can bet the social workers will snatch them before Lesson One.

berenike said...

"Further guidance on PSHE to which head teachers and the governing body must have regard may be added by the Secretary of State and those nominated by him. [seems to be a virtual carte blanche]"

The profanity is stomachable, the obscenity less so, but the Devil's Kitchen has picked up on many of these "enabling clauses" in legislation going back some years. (Again, lots of swearing - puttable with - and worse, sometimes graphic obscenity. You can skip over the latter, but I did warn you.)

George said...

It's coming to a show-down at some point in the very near future.

I hope everyone is preparing well - as St Paul tells the Ephesians: Eph 6:10-17 ...

"Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God".

This passage tells us so clearly who the 'real enemy' is. The petty politicians who come up with these idiotic bills and white papers etc... are just so many 'weak' individuals who have sold out.

They can't think for themselves and have no backbone. The real enemy is satan who continues the battle for souls - OUR SOULS!!!

St Paul assures us that 'when the day of evil comes' and provided we have prepared well, we will be able to 'stand our ground' and what's more we will remain standing! That is GOOD NEWS indeed.

Let's pray that our Bishops will rise to this challenge and be our fearless leaders. If they back down on this - then let's just keep on going, fight the good fight and run the race!!!! Let's fight like lions for our Faith and for our children!

Red Maria said...


Some of us have been waiting for the showdown for a good few years now.

The showdown will only happen, I think, when ordinary Catholics have the gumption to point out to their bishops, the lunatic things which are being done in their name. To readers I say, go on, write to your bishop, give it a try and see what happens. I should think that like MPs they do notice what comes out of their postbag.

I think this sex "education" stuff is completely bonkers. That it's being championed by the so-called Catholic Education Service is truly scandalous. The time is coming when we're going to have to stick inverted commas around the Catholic bit.

I think Oona Stannard's position is completely untenable but I've been thinking that for ooh, years.

Hence I once wondered aloud, or on twitter, to be precise, who her line manager is. To be honest, I don't think she's being managed at all well. I note at this juncture that there was one interesting news item in The Tablet a few weeks ago, entitled, "Concern over CES" or somesuch which drew attention to the fact that it seems to be shedding staff with alarming rapidity. Apparently some three key individuals have left the CES in the last 12 months.

My gut feeling is that there's a story to be found there. High staff turnover does not tend to be indicative of an organisation at the top of its game.

In complete contrast I have to say that the standards of the British Catholic blogosphere are very impressive indeed. We've got an excellent range of bloggers from people like Damian Thompson at one end through RC Commentary and Mulier Fortis to Fathers Ray and Tim. Special mention also to James Preece, a young man but my what a writer he is! We've also got the Catholic mum of 10, Madame Evangelista and Londiensis on Twitter (when is he going to start blogging? He really should) and so many more, the names of which escape me at the moment.

These blogs are consistently outperforming, leading the news agenda and coming up with some outstanding comment and analysis, sometimes serious, sometimes in delicious parodic form. The hit rates these blogs are getting bears out what I say. One Catholic blogger tell me she gets 300 hits on a bad day!

The British Catholic blogosphere shows that there's an awful lot of vigour in Catholicism here. And I think this is where a lot of the excitement is.

More power to the Catholic blogosphere, I say.

Concerned Grandfather said...

"....and, for the first time, primary schools would be legally obliged to provide sex and relationships education from the age of five."

There is one aspect of this bill, this movement to destroy the innocence of children, that has not been mentioned to my knowledge. Those who are driving this bill have had the intent for many years to continually lower the age of awareness of sexual matters down to children who are just starting school. Why? What is it about some adults who wish to sexualise children? What is it about some adults who spend all their working days thinking about how to make very young children aware of sexual matters?
The definition of a paedophile is 'an adult who is sexually attracted to children.' I would never dream of accusing these 'educationalists' of being sexually attracted to children but I do wonder about the unhealthy mental state of adults who seem to spend their days writing bills and text books about the best way of describing adult sexual behaviour to little tots. Most 'normal' people enjoy the company of young children because it allows them to escape the problems of daily adult life. We can temporarily leave our problems behind and play silly games in a reversion to our own childhood. It can be a welcome relief from the daily grind. The reverse is true of those who seem grimly determined to shock our children out of their childhood innocence and thrust them into an adult world that their minds are clearly not ready to cope with. What drives these people? What are their objectives? Perhaps a few questions on these lines might provide revealing answers? It might also be revealing to see how many of these people have children of their own - or are they content to play social engineering with other people's offspring?
I only ask.

Laicus said...

Gravely unjust laws must be disobeyed. In the present case obedience to Christ demands no less.

Michael Petek said...

I have an answer for Concerned Grandfather.

The reason why the Government wants to sexualise children has nothing to do with paedophilia. The immediate purpose is to get children ready for sex with each other by the time they start secondary school, as opposed to getting them ready for work by the time they finish.

The ultimate purpose is to sustain the market for the paraphernalia of contraception and abortion. The fact that the UK population isn't replacing itself and bulging with young people as it used to means that there aren't as many young wombs out there as there would be if everyone were having large families.

That leads to a lean market among adult women and older teenagers, which has to be compensated for by getting children sexually active as soon as they're fertile.

George said...

Writing about Oonah Stannard, Red Maria asks "who her line manager is".

Well, let me think for just a split nano-second..... Bishop McMahon?! Is our good Shepherd asleep while the flock is being ravaged and devoured by wolves?

What the heck is going on and why hasn't the entire CES team been sacked?

Our young children are being 'educated' in sexual 'circus tricks' (with seemingly the full collusion and approval of the CES) that simply beggar belief and would have been illegal just a few short decades ago.

Now that same depravity is being written into UK law. What kind of society is being engineered for the future, for your and my grandchildren?!

Where are the Political Statesmen and women that can still distinguish good from evil and tell right from wrong (or up from down for that matter) and can stem the tidal wave of selfish relativism that will push this country further into the gutter?

Bryan said...

There is an opportunity to comment on the Sex and Relationship draft guidance here: ---

For my money Subsection (8) requiring schools to "have regard to" the Secretary of State's guidance is the clause which need amendment to protect the teaching of the Faith in our schools.

The amendment gained by CES is unnecessary and will not be effective as long as schools are required by statute to follow whatever guidance Ed Balls sends them.

Elizabeth said...

On the one hand they are forcing Sex Education on our five year olds and next we read this in todays news.

Children 'over-exposed to sexual imagery'
By Dominic Casciani
BBC News

Children are being increasingly exposed to sexual imagery and their parents have limited opportunities to stop it, a report for the Home Office warns.

The report calls for tougher regulation of sexual imagery in adverts and a ban on selling "lads' mags" to under-16s.

It also recommends selling mobile phones and games consoles with parental controls automatically switched on.

Author Dr Linda Papadopoulos said there was a clear link between sexualised imagery and violence towards females.

Her report said the material children were being exposed to included the growth of lads' mags and pornography on mobile phones, through to big-name fashion brands using sexual imagery to advertise clothes targeted at young teenagers......

Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at Kent University, said society as a whole and adults were to blame.

He said: "The whole of society is hypersexualised - sex becomes the common currency through which adults make their way in the world and continually send a signal to children that sex is all that matters.
"One of the big problems that we are faced with is that increasingly adults have lost the capacity to draw a line between their own attitudes and those of children and increasingly we're recycling adult attitudes about sex through the prism of children."

Please read the whole article and realise that the government is totally demented. One moment they are forcing our children to be sexually active and the abort the consequences next minute they are writing reports about the harm sexually explicit material can do

Tory leader David Cameron said earlier this month that he would clamp down on irresponsible advertising targeted at children.
He also mooted the idea that parents should be able to complain about offensive marketing tactics used by companies, via a specially set-up website.
Such moves were needed to stop children being "bombarded" with inappropriate material, he said.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: "We know that parents are concerned about the pressures their children are under at a much younger age, which is why we have already committed to a number of the recommendations in this report.
So they will limit sexual material being displayed via the media and just hand it out in schools??????
This is beyond me!!!

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...