English church urged to drop trans guidance for schools – Telegraph
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, is facing calls to scrap Church of England guidance that offers advice on how to deal with children who wish to change their gender in the UK school system, according to a report by The Telegraph.
In 2014, the Church of England’s education office first published its official guidance challenging homophobic bullying. The policy, titled ‘Valuing All God’s Children,’ was aimed in part at countering “homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying” in schools, it said, to ensure that children are “kept safe and can flourish” in an educational environment.
It adds that “schools can make adjustments to meet the needs of a trans pupil without being accused of discriminating against non-trans pupils.”
However, in a letter signed by Christian parents Nigel and Sally Rowe, Archbishop Welby has been asked to withdraw the guidance because it promotes an ideology they argue that children should not be exposed to.
“Valuing All God’s Children recognizes an ideology that should have no place in primary schools,” the Rowes said in the letter, according to The Telegraph on Sunday. It added that children require “unambiguous rules based on facts.”
They continued in the letter that the “vast majority” of parents seeking to have their children educated in a Church of England school expect Christian beliefs to be adhered to, and called for the urgent withdrawal of the official guidance which they said gives a “foot in the door to a dangerous ideology.”
The Rowe family also claimed that in 2017, their then six-year-old son was told by a Church of England primary school that it would be ‘transphobic’ if he did not recognize as a girl a young boy who wished to change genders.
The family, backed by the UK-based private Evangelical advisory body the Christian Legal Center, brought a legal challenge against the British Education chiefs after the government opted against intervening in the case. In 2022, the UK government settled the case and said it would review transgender policies in place in schools.
In response to the letter issued by the Rowe family, the Church of England said that ‘misleading pressure groups’ had attempted to distort the intentions of the Valuing All God’s Children advice.
“Some pressure groups have misleadingly attempted to spin it as being guidance for schools to help them provide for gender-questioning children,” a spokesperson said, per The Telegraph. “It is not and has never set out to provide such guidance.”
The spokesperson added that the Church intends to “update” the policy later this year.