Ofsted's Totalitarian Moral Vision - Faith Schools Which Resist Could be Closed
IN BRIEF: The school inspectors, Ofsted, are now penalising schools for failing to talk to primary school children about sexual orientation and gender “reassignment”. Ofsted are essentially attempting to force religious schools to teach an ideology which is contrary to the tenets of many traditional religions. They are undermining the freedom of parents to educate their children in accordance with their own traditions, and undermining the freedom of religion.
UPDATE: One of our supporters sent us a letter he received from Ofsted in response to his complaint.
Ofsted said: “The standards require all independent schools to actively promote fundamental British values and equalities, including respect for those with different faiths, beliefs and those with protected characteristics [sexual orientation and gender reassignment] as covered by the Equalities Act 2010.”
They go on to say that the school “…is still not paying enough regard to developing pupil’s tolerance and understanding of people with protected characteristics... The expectation set for schools is not about challenging religious freedoms… It is about schools positively acting in the spirit of the equalities act which says that those with protected characteristics are protected by law.”
In other words, Ofsted are doubling down and continuing to discriminate against religious schools.
Ofsted have reported that Vishnitz Girls’ School in north London “does not meet all of the independent school standards that were checked during [its] inspection …”
In what way did they fail to meet these standards?
“Pupils are not taught explicitly about issues such as sexual orientation… As a result, pupils are not able to gain a full understanding of fundamental British values.”
The report also notes that the school did not teach about gender “re-assignment”, and that, in doing so, the school is falling short of the Equality Act 2010.
The report makes clear that this is the principle way in which the school is failing.
By the report’s own admission, pupils are “well motivated, have positive attitudes to learning and are confident in thinking for themselves”. The teachers have “good subject knowledge and high-quality classroom resources inspire pupils with enthusiasm for learning and to achieve well.” Pupils ‘behave well and … take responsibility for their own actions’.
The staff are well trained and the school is fully compliant on all matters of safeguarding, health and safety, pupil welfare and buildings.
In which case, Ofsted are now setting a precedent: schools must explicitly teach about gender reassignment and sexual orientation (and these topics must be taught in accordance with Ofsted’s views on these matters), and to fail to do this is to be judged to not be meeting required standards.
This is only reasonable interpretation of this report.
As such, this report represents a serious threat to the freedom of religion and the freedom of parents to raise their children within their own traditions.
Ofsted need to be reminded once again that it is parents, and not the state, who are the primary educators of their own children.
- Vishnitz Girls’ School has rightly judged that these issues do not need to be addressed in primary school.
- This school and others rightly want to approach these topics in the manner they see fit. For some, that will involve not addressing these issues at all. For others, it will involve talking about these topics within the context of their respective faiths.
- While Ofsted and the state may not like the content of what particular faiths teach about these topics, many adherents of these faiths would insist that their particular teaching on these topics fully recognises that dignity of all people including those with non-traditional sexual orientations and alternative understandings of gender, in a way which current orthodoxies do not.
- Perhaps most importantly of all, it is parents who are the primary educators of their children and the ones responsible for their moral formation and not the state.
The state is attempting to force its own distinctive understanding of the meaning and importance of sex and marriage upon children against the wishes of parents.
This is going to be a long battle between the modern totalitarian LGBT ideology and those who reject this ideology. In reality, this will primarily be faith schools. Ofsted have clearly taken sides in favour of LGBT ideology and against parents and religious freedom.
Please sign this petition now to let Ofsted know that you do not appreciate the state forcing its way into family and religious life in this way and to demand that Ofsted the right of parents to educate their own children in accordance with their own traditions (religious or otherwise).