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Church News

Schools in Brighton issue guidance to call parents 'grown ups' instead of 'mum and dad'

by Alex Collett

Four Primary schools in Brighton have issued new guidance for children to call their parents 'grown ups' instead of 'mum and dad.'

The move is a bid to avoid discriminating against 'non-traditional families.'

Headteachers at four schools in Brighton have issued the guidance, including Elm Grove and Carlton Hill Primary Schools.

Association for Christian Teachers' (ACT) Executive Director Elizabeth Harewood, says she does have concerns: "I think all of our members would, would agree that children should not be stigmatised because of their family makeup or who they live with, or because they may be in care.

"But I do have concerns about a sort of carpet ban on the erasure of these particular terms, you know, these roles mum and dad.

"Ultimately, mum and dad are still the main figures in the majority of children's lives and even those whose mum and dad don't live together anymore. 

"Still, the majority of children will have a mum and dad and I think to have a carpet ban, which will erase those unique roles is actually symptomatic of a culture that's being increasingly taken in by certain progressive ideology, I hope I'm not being too political by saying that, mum and dad are very valuable things and are very valuable roles.

"I think schools such as those in Brighton and Hove, when they critically allow a kind of particular ideology to shape the vocabulary they use, that ultimately has an impact on the messaging, they give out, that fundamentally changes the teaching and the culture of, of these institutions. 

"So although you could say this is the thin end of the wedge, when principles such as these are laid out in primary school, that it isn't the norm or isn't a valuable thing, to have a mum and a dad, then alongside some of the other kind of features of the progressive ideology that we're seeing in that many of our members are contacting us about in schools confusion was being sown."

Elizabeth went onto say: "It's been affirmed and directed by schools, but I do want to just affirm that teachers should be sensitive and not to stigmatise children who don't have a mum and dad and I think we should trust that teachers do have some wisdom and knowledge, particularly in primary schools where, where teachers will be with pretty much the same 30 children or less all day, they will know their children's contexts really well."

"We pray that there will still be that autonomy in schools and also autonomy for teachers so that they can really judge what is best for the children in their own classroom. 

"Yeah, and just pray that, particularly Christian teachers can just be that lovely balance of being gracious and sticking up for truth when it's when it's necessary."

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