“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Education is devolved to each constituent nation of the United Kingdom, which have their own priorities. However, there are underlying principles for education throughout the whole United Kingdom, which this manifesto addresses.
Training children is critical and relevant to the wellbeing of the United Kingdom, both now and in the future.
Parents have the main responsibility for their children’s upbringing and education. The partnership between parents and the educational system should reflect this. The current climate in which the state takes over parenting savours of communistic ideals, overlooks the in loco parentis principle, and is resisted by the Christian Party. The idea that the state can criminalise parents for taking their children on holiday is symptomatic of the nanny state run wild. In Scotland there are now corporate parents with more rights in some respects than biological parents. The argument that this is to protect children does not justify calling them parents and it is testimony to the failure of a secular state to instil a sense of responsibility for and love towards one’s own children far less to one’s neighbour.
Parental neglect can be identified in the state school system and the Christian Party supports special measures to ensure such children do not fall behind in their early years. However, we do not support the concept of a state guardian for every child. Good parenting gives a child the confidence, wellbeing and domestic security to concentrate on their studies, but undermining parents with sex education that confuses a child’s identity conflicts with in loco parentis and can only be detrimental to their education. A child needs consistent teaching and schools should not conflict with parental wishes for their children.
Education is life-long and begins with a good grounding during the relatively few years spent in primary and secondary education. The Christian Party will promote the mental, spiritual and social development of school children, preparing them for community involvement and social responsibility, as well as contributing to the future economic fabric of the nation. The British Broadcasting Corporation and social media are part of this life-long learning facility, which has become more acute during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, which is acting as a catalyst to self-improvement. We support this trend for more extensive online learning and tertiary education.
Britain’s education system is rooted in our Judaeo-Christian heritage and constitution. For a number of years this has been eroded by the secular and multifaith agendas, which are not supplying the necessary motivation for many school children who are being failed by our educational system. The educational establishment has pursued a social theory that is failing the country. This has not been helped by quangos with vested interests producing material for schools to use, but which are biased towards homosexuality, Palestinian anti-Israel programmes, etc.
The Christian Party promotes these three basic elements of learning – knowledge, understanding and wisdom, of which “wisdom is the principal thing” Proverbs 4v7.
Schools are to serve and enhance their local community.
The coronavirus paradigm shift will move policy towards the Christian Party 2015 Manifesto to review class size, school size and numbers. In particular, the vital role of schools in small towns and rural communities is recognised, and practical measures using online technologies to support and resource small communities should be more readily available as a result of the experience developed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Until the UK ranks among the top ten, the Christian Party will focus education on the basics of the core curriculum of reading, writing, mathematics, science, languages and modern studies instead of the current waste of educational resources on peripheral activities and topics related to more local issues. Many websites of reputable companies demonstrate that mistakes in basic English are tolerated or, more likely, not recognised. Poor communication is the source of misunderstanding and conflict, and the Christian Party will insist on improving literacy skills to ensure that pupils leaving school can compose complete sentences that make sense. Media programmes demonstrate that some shoppers cannot calculate percentages; this contributes to exploitation and corruption in society and the Christian Party will ensure that basic numeracy is learned and not simply taught in schools.
Over the past 250 years, the British Empire became the largest empire in history and the foremost global power for over a century. As a result, the culture of the United Kingdom and its industrial, political, constitutional and educational legacy is as widespread as the English language, and beyond. Today, our poorly performing education system is a disgrace and failing too many children.
Students should leave secondary education with a working knowledge of Britain’s history and place in global and European history, an understanding of the British Commonwealth, an appreciation for the British-American special relationship in order to promote a global perspective, a sense of citizenship and responsibility. It is inappropriate that those applying to become British citizens should learn more about these than native children. British history should therefore be reinstated in every school, to give a sense of history instead of the narrow modern perspective demonstrable so commonly in public debate. Classical subjects should be available, especially when the good teaching resources are available online to make less familiar subjects more attractive. The role of Christianity as an influence for good, in giving us the civil and religious liberties of our current parliamentary democracy and education system needs greater appreciation.
Education is a privilege and it should promote responsibility rather than rights, and teach school children to value service as a privilege.
The choice of education in line with parental beliefs and pupil choice is established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, part 3: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” However, the imposition of secular values in the education curriculum inhibits Christian participation both as teachers and pupils and interferes with parental rights. Christians are fighting a rear-guard action against the imposition of homosexual and transexual principles through schools. The Christian Party calls for the right to live as Christians in 21st century Britain, and this begins in the home, the school and one’s local community.
We reaffirm that within certain parameters parents, not the state, should set the framework for their children’s education. These parameters include a healthy relationship between parents and the educational system, instead of the current parental sense of being an underdog and on-looker in a large institutional framework. The Christian Party will redress this imbalance and provide the tools to empower parents at home to assist in their children’s education and motivation.
Education is more than the transfer of information and should develop the whole person with patriotic civic pride, morality, care for others and integrity. Our education system will provide a better choice and promote a community-focused approach to education.
The Christian Party will improve the choice of school and schooling, locality and curriculum, by introducing an Education Voucher Scheme, enabling parents to choose state, private, or home education for their children. At present only the rich can afford to choose. The Education Voucher Scheme, where funding for education will follow a child in both the state and private sector, will extend choice to all. Parents will receive a voucher equivalent to the amount of money the government currently attributes to each state school pupil. Parents can choose to spend the voucher at a school of their choice either within the state sector or the private sector.
The Educational Voucher could pay for fees for a school being set up by parents, a charitable foundation, a church, or be applied to the cost of homeschooling.
Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, co-author of the report and Director of Research for the Centre for Market Reform of Education, said:
“Parents are currently restricted to choosing schools they can afford or the schools they can afford to buy a house near. Giving parents a voucher, redeemable to all state schools and participating private schools, would usher in a new era of social mobility and reverse the decline in the quality of English education. A voucher programme would avoid the need to build more costly free schools, as well as the huge costs and surrounding regulations which have hampered the government’s education reforms.”
Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Market Reform of Education
The coronavirus pandemic is changing many areas of life, not least the methods of online education, and this is the opportunity to address Christian concerns about the content of the curriculum and to tailor appropriate material to different segments of society.
In keeping with increased parental choice and responsibility for their children’s nurture and education, the Christian Party will give parents the right to withdraw their children from controversial areas of the curriculum, particularly PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education). We will reform these programmes with Christian content.
Parents and schools
There is evidence that there is a direct correlation between the interest and involvement of parents in their children’s education and the attainment of good results. Current governmental attitudes seem to imply that the government owns our children and thus their education, which distances parents from this involvement. The Christian Party will encourage the relationship of mutual trust between parents and the local school. We expect the central government to support the family unit, parental authority, responsibility and rights, as the term in loco parentis reminds us.
This can be illustrated by parental rights concerning religious education, relationship and sex education, and home schooling.
The national debate has further to run, and the secular attempt to lock in its gains by refusing any further debate will be vigorously resisted by the Christian Party.
The coronavirus pandemic lockdown has highlighted the risks to children in domestic abuse situations and not even receiving adequate meals at home, and this reflects the failure of our secular society to teach parents their responsibility and accountability towards their own children. The fear of discriminatory policy should not prevent the identification and application of resources to give special attention and support to failing families in their domestic environment instead of turning educational facilities into quasi-social care facilities.
Ill-disciplined children reflect dysfunctional family units and education itself needs to teach and promote the stability of the family unit as essential to the wellbeing of individuals, families and wider society. School teachers find themselves acting as social workers, to such an extent that state parents or guardians are being appointed in Scotland and considered in other parts of the UK.
This has arisen in tandem with the lack of support for the family unit by secular ideology, which is a failed experiment that has gone on too long. Children need parameters and boundaries for security and development and its lack has produced insecurity and lack of a clear identity among many young people. Added to this mix has been the emphasis on rights instead of responsibility. The fear of litigation has resulted in supine leadership and demoralised teachers. The Christian Party will support teachers to maintain discipline in their classroom environment.
Teachers and councillors are threatened with disciplinary procedures for being in breach of ‘equality regulations’ and are required to undergo diversity training to demonstrate that they have learned the LGBT agenda being imposed through the educational and employment environment.
The Christian Party recognises that the constant change of the school curriculum to satisfy the need of each new Education Secretary to put their stamp on education has put unnecessary stress upon the teaching profession.
The Christian Party offers stability and continuity to the teaching curriculum, support to the teaching profession to maintain discipline, and to reduce the over-regulation and tick-box mentality creating an intimidating environment with distrust.
We support a pupil-based educational policy instead of the emphasis on statistics, regional league tables and targets. We trust the teaching profession to educate our children if they are released from government over-regulation.
Discipline arises from the word ‘disciple’, a core concept in Christianity. The basic concept in discipleship is teaching and learning, which corrects wrong ideas as well as wrong behaviour. The modern idea that ‘we should accept people as they are’ does not sit easily with the concept of education and discipline. The truth in it needs to be distinguished from the error in it.
Christian teaching includes doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in correct behaviour in order to create a balanced person ready for all good works 2Timothy 3:16-17. The aim of primary and secondary education should include correction both didactically and by other means, especially as children need correction in manners as well as in their thinking.
The lack of Christian conscience in our society and in the educational system is producing unreasonable behaviour in the classroom. However, the aim of education is to raise children to use and respond to reason. This is another manifestation of the failing ethos in secular education.
The Christian Party supports a wide variety of corrective measures in schools.
To maintain a structured, secure and disciplined school environment, a wider variety of corrective measures should be made available in schools. An undisciplined regime at school prepares young people for a lack of respect for authority outside of school, and can ultimately feed into the criminal justice system. With regard to the most disruptive school children, teachers have been denied effective sanctions. Of available sanctions, the over-use of exclusions has been both detrimental and far-reaching.
Exclusions often result in interrupting the parents’ work routine and placing a strain on employer/employee relations. Excluded pupils can view these as de facto rewards for misbehaviour, spending the day playing video games and watching television at home whilst their peers are at school. Worst still, exclusions can result in the child roaming the streets whilst his/her peers are at school. This in turn can lead to criminal associations that can prove fatal. Instead of exclusion, other strategies of discipline should be employed, such as isolation from peers within the school premises, detentions and appropriate punishment tasks. We will help to encourage more responsible parenting at home in tandem with this strategy.
We will restore innocence as the norm for childhood instead of corrupting young minds. Sex education needs to be in the context of traditional marriage. The Christian Party will promote true love in its education policy.
The Christian Party rejects sex education to children as young as five years old, which sexualises children at too early an age. Furthermore, given the pro-homosexuality agenda in parliamentary, media and educational circles, sex education for five-year-olds amounts to state-sponsored sexual indoctrination. The cross-dressing of primary school children is an abuse, all the worse for being promoted in the hitherto safe school environment. The school environment is giving a legitimacy to behaviour that a few decades ago was banned as “promoting homosexuality in schools”. We resist the use of schools for the LBGT political agenda, such as promotional months, and government backing and financial support for their literature and campaigns. The Christian Party continues to call for the end of the promotion in schools of the LGBT agenda, which is now appearing in other subjects across the curriculum.
Formal sex education classes should be restricted to secondary school, on a parental opt-in basis, and the content should be about biological facts rather than politically-correct lifestyle choices. Chastity before marriage and faithfulness within marriage should be taught as the best and safest sexual practice.
The Christian Party rejects the premise that the only solution to teenage pregnancy is sex education in school. Rather, restoring the innocence of childhood is a better target to aim for, and just as school discipline identifies and targets unruly children, so all sex education should be targetted according to a parental opt-in decision. There is an inconsistency in requiring parental consent in England and Wales for the marriage of a 16-year-old, while denying parental opt-out for their sex education at 16 years old.
The Christian Party puts more trust in parents than the current government.
Paedophilia and internet pornography
The greatest use of the internet is for pornography. The growth of paedophilia via the internet is too great for law enforcement, provoking calls for internet censorship. Evidence of institutional cover-up in historic cases of child abuse shows that child abuse is long-standing, widespread and difficult to detect. This gives us little confidence that mere regulation will cure this endemic and epidemic problem in Britain
The problem is sexual addiction and lack of self-control, arising in a society with little awareness of Christian conscience. The sexualisation of children in advertising, and the promotion of sexual education in primary schools have arisen in our secular society that provides few guidelines on the limitations of legitimate sex. The 20th century social experiment in changing sexual attitudes still has some decades to run before society learns the full extent of its detrimental effects, often at great cost to children as well as to adults and family life, with its knock-on effects in the nation. The coronavirus pandemic lockdown of schools in 2020 highlighted the danger and extent of family breakdown and domestic abuse including the sexual abuse of children.
The promotion of homosexual alternative lifestyles has a detrimental effect and young children are being confused. The Christian Party will reverse this.
In line with our education policy, the Christian Party will support and promote programmes for sex addicts to learn new patterns of living. We support the use of the BBC and internet resources to raise awareness about sexual addiction and promote programmes to help people handle their sexuality in line with Christian conscience. We distinguish between voyeurism, thought crime, immortality and contact crime. The nations needs to find methods to deal rapidly with paedophilia and immorality.
We will bring back innocency to children and remove sexual education from primary schools. We will promote more appropriate education in secondary schools and support parents’ right to remove their children from unsuitable education.
The Christian Party believes that provision of Christian religious education in schools should be reinstated, with no obligation to promote other faiths. The opportunity to assemble pupils for Christian praise and prayer should be encouraged.
The Christian Party will ensure that schools fulfil the statutory obligation to assemble pupils for a corporate act of worship of a Christian nature, with suitable opt-out arrangements. The History curriculum should reflect the United Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage. As education teaches critical thinking and encourages questions, so the Science curriculum should include the evidence of creation and design in the Universe, presenting evolution as an alternative hypothesis rather than falsely depicting it as a proven fact.
Schools should have the freedom not to employ staff who do not agree with the school’s ethos. Current equalities legislation denies this sensible and legitimate element in mature discrimination.
The Christian Party will promote vocational training in schools, colleges of further education and universities.
We will support employers’ vocational programmes and apprenticeship schemes to train apprentices in return for a commitment to a minimum contract.
The Christian Party values apprenticeship schemes for prisoners to promote self-employment for those who will have difficulty finding a job upon release from prison, to promote their self-esteem and break the cycle of returning to crime through lack of employment.
We will give equal provision to those wanting to further their education at Universities and those wanting to learn trades by supporting apprenticeships to address the considerable skills shortage highlighted by the reduction of foreign labour after Brexit and the reduced national and international movement caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
We will link the funding of courses at colleges of further education and universities to the medium and long-term needs of society and the economy.
The Christian Party is fundamentally opposed to the concept of student debt as a means of funding student education. We are opposed to tuition fees and would seek to reverse this trend by publicly funding university tuition fees. Distance learning and online courses are a growing source of revenue for universities, and cost saving for students.
Christian party members of parliament will:
- Keep open and resource schools in small towns and rural communities wherever possible.
- Review the size of schools in terms of numbers.
- Reinstate the teaching of ‘Classical’ subjects in every school.
- Introduce an education voucher scheme.
- Support the use of reasonable force by teachers to maintain discipline in schools.
- Reinstate mandatory Christian religious education in schools.
- Seek sanctions for schools that refuse to comply with their obligation to assemble pupils for an act of daily worship. Such acts of worship should be Christian.
- Ensure that the United Kingdom’s Christian heritage is properly reflected in the National Curriculum.
- Ensure that proper balanced teaching and debate occurs in schools around the concepts of ‘Evolution’ and ‘Creation/Design in the universe’.
- Ensure that schools are not forced to change their values by employing those who disagree with those values.
- Promote vocational training in schools, colleges of further education and universities.
- Link the funding of university courses to the medium and long term needs of society and the economy through consultation with industry and community leaders.
- Publicly fund university tuition fees.
- Call a halt to plans to give sex education lessons in Primary Schools.
- Call for sex education classes to be given only to secondary schoolchildren on a parental opt-in basis.
- Ensure that chastity before marriage and faithfulness within marriage as the best and safest sexual practice will be taught and promoted as an integral part of any sex education curriculum.
- Call for the end of the promotion and teaching in schools of homosexuality as a family relationship.
- The Educational Voucher could pay for fees for a school being set up by parents, a charitable foundation, a church, or be applied to the cost of home schooling.