|UK||COMPROMISE WILL REQUIRE TEACHING OF FAMILY VALUES|
British teachers will be required to promote the benefits of marriage under a deal agreed between Church leaders and the Government which will almost certainly pave the way for the scrapping of an existing ban on the promotion of homosexuality in schools known as Section 28.
Bishops from the Catholic and Anglican churches reached a compromise arrangement with ministers. They have agreed to back the repeal of Section 28 - which forbids local authorities to promote homosexuality in schools - in return for other legislative safeguards.
Under the agreement, which could be announced next week, the Government will put a legally binding duty on David Blunkett, the Education Secretary, to issue guidance to teachers making it clear that they must emphasise the value of the traditional family unit during sex education classes. Ministers have agreed to insert a clause into the Learning and Standards Bill, which is now going through Parliament, setting out the moral, health and social issues which should be covered by the guidance for young people.
Insiders say that there will be a provision to protect children from "inappropriate teaching" included in the Bill, although this will not mention any specific issues such as homosexuality. Religious leaders and ministers have also reached agreement over the wording of the guidance. It is understood that it will specifically emphasise the benefits of marriage and the importance of the traditional family unit for society.
The bishops, who have been shown a draft format, are happy with clauses supporting family life and believe the guidance presents marriage as the ideal. They are also satisfied that the emphasis on the importance of there being a moral element to teaching about sex is strong enough.