What the hell is going on in England anymore? Sharia Law? An Archbishop of Canterbury who believes in multiplural religions? And now this:
Church schools could be forced to promote Islam and homosexuality, Catholics fear
Church schools could be forced to promote Islam and homosexuality under a new legally-binding code of conduct for teachers, it is feared.
“Forcing this on Christian teachers is to force them to go against their conscience.”
The code is accused of undermining the religious ethos of Christian schools by promoting secular morality and will discriminate against devout staff and drive them out of the classroom, the Roman Catholic church has warned. As The Daily Telegraph disclosed last month, the General Teaching Council – the profession’s regulator – has published a draft code of conduct that all teachers will have to sign.
It will be used by the GTC in assessing misconduct cases, but also by school governors and local authorities in recruitment and discipline.
Principle 4 of the draft code states that teachers must “proactively challenge discrimination” and “promote equality and value diversity in all their professional relationships and interactions”.
However religious groups fear that these requirements could be used by liberal groups or parents to discriminate against Christian teachers, or to target faith schools. An alleged lack of commitment to equality and diversity was used by a health trust to suspend Caroline Petrie, a Baptist community nurse, after she offered to pray for an elderly patient.
Oona Stannard, head of the Catholic Education Service, an agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, told the GTC in a written submission that “there was an understandable fear that the call to ‘proactively challenge discrimination’ could be used to oppose faith schools per se, and the rights that they have in law, for example, to select leaders who are of the faith. This anxiety extends similarly to the direction to ‘promote equality’.”
“It would be unacceptable to expect anyone to be required to promote something contrary to their own faith beliefs and, indeed, it would not be possible for a person of faith to promote another faith – ‘this is a matter of conscience.’
Miss Stannard added that there were grave concerns in the Church over the question of whether Catholic teachers would in good conscience feel able to register under the new code.
The Christian Institute, a charity that supports worshippers who feel discriminated against in the workplace, claims the GTC code could be used by educational establishments to insist that staff promote homosexual rights or other religions such as Islam, going against the beliefs of many Christians.
It fears teachers could be turned down for jobs unless they agreed to use materials designed by homosexual rights groups in the classroom, and would face disciplinary action if they tell pupils in RE lessons that Jesus Christ is the only means to salvation. Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said: “Respect for people as people is not the same as respecting or valuing every religious belief or sexual lifestyle.
Amen. (No pun intended.)