After years of trying to enforce a program aimed at rooting out “extremist” biblical teachings on sexuality in Sunday Schools, the government in the United Kingdom is reportedly dropping its nationwide crusade to instill secular “British values” above faith-based morality.
Following intense opposition to the British government’s attempted power grab to inspect Sunday Schools and quiz their children about sex to “protect” them from “extremist” views on sexuality, officials have agreed to allow a “voluntary code of practice” – to the relief of many Christians.
“The mandatory inspections by the U.K.’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, or OFSTED, aim to enforce uniform support for ‘British values’ in all teaching scenarios,” WND reported. “However, those values include a pro-homosexual and pro-Muslim agenda, [and] schools that don’t teach a favorable view of lesbianism, for example – or Christian schools that don’t invite Muslim imams as guest speakers – are failing to teach ‘British values.’”
Resistance wins … sort of
After considerable resistance to the power grab – one that seeks to inculcate British youth in accordance with the state’s unbiblical teachings on sexuality while imposing a pro-Islam worldview – U.K. officials finally conceded.
“[We have decided] not to pursue the model proposed in our call for evidence, but instead intend to develop further the evidence base for a national approach – including future legislation where gaps in existing powers are identified,” the official consultation report published by the U.K. government reads.
Backtracking from its former stance pushing for widespread investigations, the U.K. Department of Education (UKDOE) no longer insists that monitoring is needed in virtually all educational facilities, but it is still leaving room to keep its foot in the door.
“[Only a] small minority of settings [likely need government oversight],” the UKDOE now claims, according to WND. “[However, we will work with local authorities] to demonstrate the benefits of multi-agency working and share best practice on different ways of working together. [The UKDOE plans] a voluntary code of practice … to set out clear standards for providers – explaining what they need to do in order to run a safe setting.”
This is a dramatic departure from the thinking behind the government’s earlier plan, which would have put a substantial proportion of non-public educational institutions under the government probe.
“Under the approach first mooted by David Cameron, any setting which provided instruction to children for more than six hours a week could have been inspected by OFSTED,” the U.K. nonprofit Christian Institute reported. “But amid strong concerns from groups – including The Christian Institute and critical consultation responses – the Government confirmed it has dropped the plans.”
It is reported that the inspections were initially proposed – for the most part – as a means to counter the influence of the ever-increasing Muslim immigrant population on public education throughout the U.K.
“The new government rules had been prompted by the nation’s ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal, in which hardline Muslim groups infiltrated and essentially took over schools in Birmingham – imposing Islam on the public school classes,” WND’s Bob Unruh informed. “The rules introduced by Nicky Morgan – the nation’s education secretary – were intended to promote ‘British Values,’ including tolerance and democracy.”
When a sizeable sampling of Britons was questioned about their take on the government’s proposed infringement on church teachings, about three out of four across the island nation were opposed to it.
“Some 18,000 people responded to the call for evidence in total, expressing doubts about OFSTED’s ability to inspect settings such as churches and questioning the vague ‘British values’ definition,” the Christian Institute divulged. “According to the official consultation report, 75 percent of those who responded using the Government’s questionnaire said OFSTED should not be able to investigate out-of-school settings.”
The state revealed that Britons are predominantly opposed to the government exercising its control over citizens’ religious beliefs, teachings and expressions.
“Respondents who disagreed with this question expressed concerns about OFSTED’s capacity, expertise and neutrality in dealing with such settings,” the British government document revealed. “[Many respondents also warned that the] proposed policy would result in the state becoming a regulator of religious teaching [and contended that] existing laws are already in place to tackle issues raised in the call for evidence – and therefore additional powers are not needed.”
This reportedly spurred British officials to not move forward with their aggressive takeover of education beyond public schools, but they maintained that they are not giving up on their quest to streamline a nationwide worldview prescribed by the state.
“[The British government has decided] not to pursue the model proposed in our call for evidence, [but it will instead move to] develop further the evidence base for a national approach,” the government report added. “We believe it is equally important that we ensure any future system carefully takes into account the differences within such a diverse sector.”
Two years ago, numerous evangelical groups – including the Christian Institute, CARE, Christian Concern, Evangelical Alliance and Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship – joined in opposition to the British government’s attempted intrusion into church affairs that it pursued in the name of universal education.
Christian Institute Director Colin Hart headed the charge against the state, demanding that the British government scrap its controversial proposals to seize control over out-of-school educational settings.
“Christians are justifiably alarmed at the prospect of OFSTED conducting ‘British values’ inspections of church youth work,” Hart declared in 2016, according to his group. “The freedom to proclaim the Gospel – and indeed our wider civil liberties – must be protected, not undermined in the name of ‘counter-extremism.’”
The previous year, Grindon Hall Christian School Principal Chris Gray publicly condemned the invasive program after “hostile” government inspectors grilled students about their biblical views on lesbianism. They subsequently issued the elementary school located in Sunderland their lowest possible rating – despite the fact that its students’ regularly tested higher than any other school in the region.
Afterward, the school’s head addressed the inspectors’ unprofessional demeanor and anti-Christian bias.
“We are proud of our school and its staff, [and] we have a Christian ethos which our parents love,” Gray announced in a statement issued in 2015 after receiving a condemning report of his school, according to WND. “We have happy, high achieving pupils, and we are oversubscribed – we always have a lot more applications than we have places. [But OFSTED’s treatment of Grindon Hall] was negative at every stage, as if the data collected had to fit a predetermined outcome.”
A British daily also reported on the inappropriate nature and questionable behavior witnessed during the government’s inspections.
“They are said to have pressed primary aged girls at Grindon Hall Christian Schoool, in Sunderland, on whether they knew what lesbians ‘did’ and if any of their friends felt trapped in the ‘wrong body,’” the London Telegraph reported in 2015. “They also allegedly questioned children as young as six about their knowledge of Hindu festivals and the Jewish Torah as part of a special inspection.”