NEWS – Christians in Education


The government is keen to prepare children and young people for life in modern Britain. But what does that look like? Sadly, for the Jewish community, it’s about meeting burly security guards at the gate every day when they arrive for school. Central funding has been provided throughout the lifetime of this Parliament. Ed Miliband has promised to continue the funding. Here is a very personal  view from a Jewish Mum. Read more

The government last year set out a written definition of values to be promoted in all schools. They involved ‘democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’. David Starkey brands these as banal, suggesting instead that the list should include ‘queuing, drunkenness, nostalgia, loving pets, self-loathing, wit and eccentricity’. Read more

Tristram Hunt caused a social media storm this week during his appearance on BBC Question Time. In response to Christine Odone talking about ‘not British values … real values’ with which her education provided her, he interrupted: ‘These were nuns. They were all nuns, weren’t they?’ He then went on to draw a distinction between ‘religious schooling’ and ‘qualified teachers’ in a state education system. Read more 

Leaders of Durham Free School, which is threatened with closure, have demanded the Education Secretary step aside from determining its future, claiming she is ‘tainted with bias’.  Lawyers acting for the Durham Free School Trust say Nicky Morgan has a ‘closed mind’ on its proposed closure, having already resolved to axe its funding, and that it has very serious issues over whether the announcement to withdraw funding was legal. Read more

A Catholic school which was downgraded by Ofsted amid the controversial British values drive has been listed as one of the top 100 schools in the country. St Benedict’s Catholic Secondary School in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was ranked 56th best in England when School Performance League Tables were published last week. Read more

The Labour party this week issued Ending Homophobia Together a document aiming to support LGBT young people and teachers. It also contains a proposal to centralise the SRE curriculum and make it compulsory for all schools, including faith schools. Read more   

Writing in The Spectator, Isabel Hardman reveals an exclusive which was later taken up by the media. Nicky Morgan will announce more than 50 new free schools by the end of this month. A protracted battle has been taking place in the Education department between the Lib Dems and the Tories, which has not been helped by a desire from some civil servants to slow down the announcement of the new schools. Read more

In response to last year’s Workload Challenge, minister have responded by deciding that teachers will no longer be subjected to major changes in Ofsted inspections or government policy during the academic year. The move, which is being called a ‘new deal’ for teachers, will spell the end of curriculum and qualifications reform in the middle of courses. Read more