Our spokeswomen Tanya Carter and Tracy Shaw were recently invited to talk to a cross-party group of MPs and peers at a meeting organised by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne. The discussion concerned the way in which lobby groups have been able to bypass parliamentary scrutiny and effect changes to the law and within civil society in a way that is undemocratic and non-consensual.
Tracy talked about why Safe Schools Alliance was set up, and our three main concerns. She summarised these as the ‘trans inclusion’ policies that override the rights of girls to single-sex spaces, the RSE materials which use sexist stereotypes and conflict with DfE advice, and the schools that are socially transitioning children without informing parents. She explained that we provide materials, factsheets and template letters for parents and others concerned about this. We have also critiqued a large number of unsuitable RSE materials.
Tanya talked about our aspirations to improve safeguarding and safe recruitment, and to understand the safeguarding failures which have led us to this point. She spoke of the challenges that schools have in identifying organisations that undermine safeguarding. We need to unpick the policies that have been introduced to schools by following the advice of lobby groups, and ensure that schools do training on safeguarding and safer recruitment. She explained that the things that are important when it comes to safeguarding children are providing boundaries, teaching them about safe adults and making sure they know that they will be listened to.