Feature

EDUCATE NOT INDOCTRINATE

A poll of Conservative councillors conducted by ComRes earlier this year shows a significant gap between grass roots opinion and the actions of central government when it comes to matters of personal morality. It amounts to a call to government to stop indoctrinating children and concentrate on the business of educating them.

Nearly 9 in every 10 respondents want the government to focus on the economy and Brexit instead of the liberal causes espoused by the Department for Education and enforced by Ofsted. There is an equally clear point made on the issue of parental rights – nearly 80% think that parents, not the state, should decide how and when their children are taught about adult relationships. In addition, 62% felt there was an undue focus on political correctness and gender identity. It amounts to a clear message from the grass roots. Schools should educate not indoctrinate. Personal morality is the province of parents. The state has no right to use education as a social engineering mechanism by embedding liberal ideologies.

There are plenty of other people saying this, too, of course. The problem is that growing numbers of concerned parents are actually afraid to speak, because anyone who voices an opinion contrary to that of the liberal glitterati is immediately labelled as homophobic and prejudiced. More than half of the poll respondents think that making toilets in schools unisex in order to conform to transgender policy is wrong, but try saying so. For parents this is an impossible situation because both they and their children find themselves labelled as intolerant bigots in need of reprogramming. And so, the education service can continually reinforce its own righteousness in saving future society from toxicity and hatred. Suddenly Nineteen-Eighty Four seems less dystopian and more prophetic.

Ofsted, in its self-appointed role as the Ministry of Truth, committed to rooting out all thought crime, also comes in for criticism. More than half of those who responded to the poll think that ‘Ofsted appears biased in favour of an ideological left-wing agenda’ and 38% supported the idea of Ofsted being scrapped altogether, replacing it with an accountable, objective service. There are plenty who would agree with that.

On the issue of content in the proposed Relationships and Sex Education, there was an overwhelming call for the teaching of traditional marriage. This might be expected in a poll of Conservative councillors, but it is a view amply supported by the evidence. As David Cameron said, ‘Family is where people learn to be good citizens, to take responsibility, to live in harmony with others. Families are the building blocks of a strong, cohesive society. This isn’t a hunch. A whole body of evidence backs it up.’ So why are successive governments ignoring the evidence?

On one issue the respondents were almost unanimous – respect and consent in relationships. There is a problem with this, though, when it comes to definition. Evidence says that children don’t possess the cognitive skill to accurately judge the speed of an oncoming vehicle until they are about 14. The law says they can’t drive a car until they’re 17. To protect their health and wellbeing, they can’t purchase alcohol or cigarettes until they’re 18. So by all means teach about consent, in the same way that schools teach about the dangers of substance abuse, if the age of consent in taught and enforced. Consent as the pundits would have it taught is merely as a means of self-defence so that children and young people can engage in sexual activity at ever-younger ages and ‘stay safe’.

Christianity is often seen by its opponents as a list of rules drawn up by a narcissistic God who just wants to spoil our fun. But actually, the rules are there for our own benefit. We are born biologically male or female. It’s empirically proven that a strong, secure marriage is most likely to lead to happiness. Children are raised most effectively in loving homes with secure parental relationships, and with both a mother and a father to give them a rounded perspective.

So the evidence is there, and it all goes to prove that living in accordance with God’s design for humanity really is the best way to live.