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postheadericon Ofsted Head’s comments on The Christian Institute

Ofsted Head’s comments on The Christian Institute

In a speech to Anglican school leaders today about ‘extremists’ who ‘pervert’ education, Chief  Inspector of Schools Amanda Spielman referred to The Christian Institute. As reported on the front page of today’s Times, she said:

“Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says ‘anything goes’ for fear of causing offence, school leader should be promoting a muscular liberalism.” .

“It means not assuming that the most conservative voices in a particular faith speak for everyone – imagine if people thought the Christian Institute was the sole voice of Anglicanism. And it means schools must not be afraid to call out practices, whatever their justification, that limit young people’s experiences and learning in school.”

Just because you oppose theological liberalism doesn’t mean you also oppose democratic liberalism. There seems to be some confusion here.

Indeed we fear that some Ofsted inspectors will interpret the call for ‘muscular liberalism’ as a call for more aggressive secularism.

We genuinely hope that Ofsted will promote the Great British tradition of democratic liberalism.

At its heart such liberalism means the freedom to disagree.

The Christian Institute which is non-denominational – has been a strong critic of Ofsted. Perhaps that’s why we get a mention. We have disagreed with the way in which some Ofsted inspectors have gone about their work. For example demanding that Vishnitz – an Orthodox Jewish School – should be promoting transgender rights to five-year-olds. Anyone reading that inspection report will see how inspectors can be unhelpfully ‘muscular’.

There have also been cases of unprofessional conduct where inspectors have asked teachers their personal views on same-sex marriage.

Clearly there is a problem of religious literacy.

Social liberalism is a particular viewpoint, whereas the tradition of British liberalism is about the freedom to disagree. Ofsted inspectors need to know the difference.

Please pray for us as we respond to Ofsted.

Pray that the concerns of Christian parents and teachers will be heard.

Thank God that the Government has not backed giving Ofsted power to inspect Sunday schools

Colin Heart – Director of the Christian Institute

1st February 2018


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Regular services

Our normal services are as follows, but are not taking place at present owing to Covid-19.

8.15: Holy Communion
10:30: Family Worship, communion twice a month
6:00: Evening Service, communion twice a month

10.00: Holy Communion

Future Events

All regular services and special events at St.Alban’s have been suspended until further notice. Resumption will be announced when this is possible.