Friday, 12 March 2010

The Fruits of 'Negotiation' with an Atheistic State

Have 'I Survived Catholic School' T-shirts now taken on another meaning?

I think the Bishop of Nottingham may need reminding about the truth concerning the Government's levels of success in teaching sex education to children. Here is a letter written by, or rather for, Bishop Malcolm MacMahon, in response to a Catholic's ever-increasing concerns over the Catholic Education Service's betrayal of Catholic parents, teachers and children. Highly dubious parts of the Bishop's (secretary's) response in bold, orange. Actually...on second thought, it's all rather dubious.

Dear Mrs [name removed on request]

Thank you for your email of 22 February 2010.

The Children Schools and Families Bill which is presently passing through Parliament has been amended in important ways by the patient and thorough work done by the CES. As a result, the policy for Sex and Relationships Education in a Catholic School will be determined by the governing body. This means that the religious character of the school will be reflected in the delivery of the subject to the pupils. Furthermore, parents will have the right to withdraw their children from SRE lessons up to the age of 15 years.

In the face of a Government with a very large parliamentary majority, the CES considers that it gets the best results for the Catholic community by negotiation. I believe that this is the responsible stance for the CES to take and has protected the rights of Catholic parents and families. To oppose the Bill outright would have put Catholic Schools in a position where they would have lost out on the concessions gained by the CES.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Bishop of Nottingham

Message sent on behalf of Bishop McMahon

Catherine Campbell
Bishop's Secretary

What 'concessions' were those again?! Oh yes! Now I remember! The obligation to give Catholic pupils information about how to access abortion. I hear the recipient of that letter is none too pleased. Not surprised!


Bryan said...

For journalistic accuracy Laurence you should mention that the little boy in the photo, Alfie, was not the father of the child.

Published: 19 May 2009
A BOY of 14 was the REAL father of the baby that 13-year-old Alfie Patten thought was his, it emerged yesterday.
Schoolboy Alfie believed he had become Britain's youngest dad after 15-year-old girlfriend Chantelle Stedman gave birth to daughter Maisie in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

But DNA tests proved teenager Tyler Barker is the father.

Read more:

Why the CES amendment is worthless said...

The Bill in its present form contains this subclause:

11. (4)

Before section 86 of EA 2002 there is inserted—

“85B Personal, social, health and economic education


In the exercise of their functions under this Part so far as relating to PSHE, a local authority, governing body or head teacher shall have regard to any guidance issued from time to time by the Secretary of State.”

Which is explained in the notes to the Bill

76. Subsections (5) to (7) of section 85B set out “principles” which school governing bodies and head teachers must comply with in providing PSHE education. Subsections (8) and (9) indicate that the principles in subsections (5) to (7) do not prevent the method of teaching PSHE from also reflecting the religious character of the school. Subsection (10) of section 85B requires them to have regard also to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State in exercising their functions in relation to providing PSHE teaching.

So when the Guidance requires the School to teach X or Y if passed this Bill will impose a legal obligation on the Governing Body or Headteacher to teach X or Y.

The CES amendment does not remove this legal obligation. The CES amendment only affects how the school will teach X or Y but teach X or Y they must.

Link to Bill here.. said...

link to Bill here: --

Policy policy? said...

Bp. McMahon writes:

"As a result, the policy for Sex and Relationships Education in a Catholic School will be determined by the governing body."

What does he mean by "policy"?

If he thinks that the Governing Body will be able to ignore the detailed list of subjects to be taught as will be set out in the Guidance then he has misunderstood the effect of 11(4)(10) of the Bill.

I understand the Bishop is a Dominican therefore after years at Blackfriars reading the words of the Angelic Doctor he should know the importance of being precise in use of language.

The Bishop needs to explain how a Catholic School can teach how to teach about various methods of contraception in a Catholic way.

A. L. Jagoe said...

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Armiger Jagoe, editor of The Joyful Catholic

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