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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Letter in today's Sunday Telegraph

Today's Sunday Telegraph published a letter opposing current moves to enforce compulsory sex education. Here is the text:
Mandatory lessons on sex in primary schools

SIR – Parents and guardians have the primary responsibility for bringing up their children in accordance with their own values and culture. They may entrust the task of formal education to a school of their choice, but the overall responsibility for the upbringing of their children remains theirs.

The Children, Schools and Families Bill undermines this principle and seeks to impose a particular ideology by means of statutory sex and relationships education from the age of 5 (which primary schools do not currently have to teach). We would therefore urge Parliament decisively to oppose it.

A state which seeks to centralise responsibilities which are properly fulfilled by families is acting in an unjust manner and undermines the basis of a free society.
The lead signatory and organiser of the letter was Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust. Three Catholic Bishops signed the letter: Bishop Noble, Bishop O'Donoghue, and Bishop Mark Davies. The letter was signed by many non Catholics, including Shahid Akmal, Chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain Education Committee. Among the Catholic signatories, a few names particularly caught my eye:

Canon Jeremy Garratt, Rector of Wonersh
Neville Kyrke-Smith - National Director Aid to the Church in Need
Tim Matthews - Editor National Association of Catholic Families
Fr Aidan Nichols OP of Blackfriars, Cambridge
Fr John Saward of Oxford
Dr Petroc Willey Dean of Graduate Research Maryvale Institute (Deputy Director of Institute)

I am happy to be included among the important signatories of this letter and delighted to see the names of so many good friends, both priests and lay people in the list of signatories. The letter was well worded, and simply expressed the basic concern of many people of good will. Congratulations to Norman Wells for this initiative. A correspondent has suggested that it might be a good idea to send an Easter Card to one or two of the signatories of the letter just to indicate your solidarity.

There was also an article in the paper referring to the letter: Hundreds of heads and church leaders oppose sex lessons for seven-year-olds
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