Catholic Education Service (England/Wales) statement regarding Amendment 70 to the Children, Schools and Families Bill

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Following the Third Reading of the Children, Schools and Families Bill, Amendment 70 has been accepted as part of the Bill. The amendment is as follows:

Page 14, line 6 [Clause 11], at end insert—

‘(7A) Subsections (4) to (7) are not to be read as preventing the governing body or head teacher of a school within subsection (7B) from causing or allowing PSHE to be taught in a way that reflects the school’s religious character.

(7B) A school is within this subsection if it is designated as a school having a religious character by an order made by the Secretary of State under section 69(3) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.’

The governing bodies and head teachers of Voluntary Aided schools are required to conduct their schools in accordance with their Instrument of Government and the Trust Deed under which they operate. The provisions of the amendment will enable schools with a religious character to fulfil these requirements in the teaching of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education, which includes Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).

The teaching of all aspects of the curriculum in Catholic schools reflects their religious ethos. In the same way, the SRE in Catholic schools will be rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the profound respect for the dignity of all human persons.