A supporter contacted us recently because her children’s school had become a Stonewall Champion. She asked for help in articulating her concerns about this to the headteacher and the safeguarding lead.
Unfortunately there are now several reasons to be concerned if a school is taking advice on curriculum content from Stonewall, a political lobby group.
Schools and governors should be aware of potential legal challenges to some of the advice given by lobby groups such as Stonewall. This advice misrepresents the Equality Act 2010 and misinforms schools on their legal obligations with regard to children who are trans-identified. Schools should also be aware that some of Stonewall’s curriculum resources contravene recent government guidance on teaching PHSE and RSE, which state that all resources must be based in scientific fact and must not promote adult ideologies.
Most importantly, both the schools’ resources that we have seen from Stonewall and the statements that they have made as an organisation suggest that it does not understand safeguarding, and particularly the safeguarding of girls in schools. School leaders must remember that their first priority is to safeguard their students, and it is their responsibility to ensure that school policies comply with the law and with safeguarding best practice.
We have developed a template letter for parents to send to their schools, outlining why we believe that Stonewall should not be involved in writing or contributing to resources relating to RSE, PSHE or any other part of the curriculum. You can find this here:
Transgender Trend also have an excellent analysis of the Stonewall Champion Scheme.
For information on other providers of Relationships and Sex Education in schools, please see our Parents’ Guide to external PSHE / RSE Providers.
We recognise that it is very difficult to find organisations whose resources do provide good quality information on PSHE and RSE. We believe it is very important that this is delivered in schools in the right way, and welcome any information about organisations that seem to have got it right