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Truth, Justice, Righteousness

(Deut 32:4)

14
Sep
14
Independent School Standards Consultation

Independent School Standards Consultation

The Department for Education (DfE) launched on the 23rd June 2014, a six week Proposed New Independent School Standards Consultation Paper. The Authorities purported that the amendments are to help raise standards for Independent Schools in England.

I broadly welcome the initiative and the suggestions in most parts of the Consultation Paper. However, my reservations are in the changes cited in Part 2, para 3.2.2 with a similar provision in Section 1.1(c). Click here to read full document.

My view is that to require by force 'proprietors' of some Independent Schools who adhere to Christian Principles contrary to 'British Values' vaguely cited in the Consultation Paper and reflected in the Equality Act 2010, may not be a reasonable way forward.

I advocate that more time be considered for such a far reaching matter and that a proper dialogue take place with the concerned 'parties' for the following reasons:

1. Human Rights Act (1998) Article 9 and Equality Act (2010) will be at variance with each other if the proposal goes ahead and thus directly affect people of faiths or beliefs.

2. 'British values' must be adhered to, but when they contradict Bible-based values in public life, a situation could be created causing more confusion than it solves.

3. The new proposal for Independent Schools (IS) presents a risk of undermining the ethos of religious education. For example, Christians should obey the law, but also legislation when enacted must reflect reasonable accommodation and inclusion of christian thinking.

The above points are in keeping with the Prime Minister's view:

"We are a Christian country. And we should not be afraid to say so .... the

Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make

Britain what it is today. Values and morals we should actively stand up and

defend... I believe the Church - and indeed all our religious leaders and their

communities in Britain - have a vital role to play in helping to achieve this"

(Rt Hon. David Cameron,

Prime Minister - 16 December 2011)

 

Please click here to see the response to the above concerns from the Department for Education.

Other related documents:

  1. Letter from Lord Nash on Independent Schools Regulatory Reform programme.  Click here to download
  2. Independent School Standards showing the proposed changes. Click here to download

The Christian Institute detailed response, provides much needed clarity to the issues raised in the consultation document. Click here to download

Brighton Kavaloh

Brighton G. Kavaloh is a retired Seventh-day Adventist ordained Minister of Religion and originally from Malawi. He is the Founder and Director of Advent Religio-Legal Perspective.

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