Parents and guardians must retain the fundamental freedom to bring up their children in accordance with their beliefs and values. The role of the state in the nurture of children is strictly ancillary to that of the parents or guardians. The Government’s decision to impose Relationships Education on every child in England from the age of five undermines that freedom.
Not only will parents be denied the right to withdraw children from Relationships Education, but the Education Secretary has already spoken in favour of introducing very young children to concepts, such as homosexuality and transgenderism, at an age where these cannot be critically assessed. We note that the Secretary of State has made no mention of ensuring that children are taught about the well-established benefits associated with being brought up by married natural parents.
Relationships education was voted through parliament on the grounds that it would help protect children from exploitative relationships and internet predators. Instead, will it be used to stigmatise traditional marriage and promote alternative lifestyles to children against the wishes of parents?
This would be a coercive and unnecessary measure damaging the position of all parents in England. We urge delegates at the Conservative Party Conference, meeting in Manchester this week, to defend parental freedom and demand that the forthcoming consultation on Relationships Education puts the rights of parents ahead of the power of the state.
Philip Davies MP
Steve Double MP
Martin Vickers MP
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
Thomas Pascoe, Campaign Director, Coalition for Marriage
Antonia Tully, Director of Campaigns, SPUC Safe at School
Ed Costelloe, Chairman, Conservative Grassroots
Colin Hart, Chairman, Christian Institute
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive, Christian Concern
Norman Wells, Director, Family Education Trust
Judith Nemeth, Director, National Association of Jewish Orthodox Schools
Mr Clive Ireson, Director, Association of Christian Teachers
Dr Chris Richards, Lovewise
Revd Lynda Rose, Chief Executive Officer, Voice for Justice UK
The Trustees, Union of Catholic Mothers
Philip Booth, Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.
Professor David Paton, Chair of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University Business School
Dr Trevor G Stammers BSc, MA, FRCGP, DRCOG, FHEA, Dip Psych
E J Matyjaszek, Principal, Priory School of Our Lady of Walsingham
Revd Andrew Symes, Executive Secretary, Anglican Mainstream
Rod Liddle, Journalist.
Kathy Gyngell, Co-Editor, The Conservative Woman
Sue Relf, Organiser, Challenge Team UK
Rev. Dr. Matthew PW Roberts, Minister Trinity Church York, Former Moderator, International Presbyterian Church
Dr Lisa Nolland, Convenor, Marriage, Sex and Culture, Anglican Mainstream