‘British values should emanate from a broad public conversation and not from the Secretary of State’, a statement from the Church of England, which is responsible for the schooling of approximately one million children in England, said. 

‘There is a danger that the “British values” test could be regarded as an assessment of whether somebody in a community is “safe” or “loyal”,’ it continued. ‘This would be a negative and divisive approach, and should not be how we define our national identity.’

The Church of England claims secretary of state for education and minister for women, Nicola Morgan, who is herself a Christian, is using the scheme to give herself and her successors ‘very wide powers’ while effectively ‘closing down’ public debate.

The way Ofsted inspectors ‘police’ equality and diversity teaching was also criticised by the Church. It came to light in October that Trinity Christian School, a primary school in Reading, could face closure for failing to invite leaders from other religions to take assemblies. Ofsted told the school it was not adequately ensuring the ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ of its pupils.

Trinity’s governors believe the school will eventually be prevented from ‘teaching in accordance with [its] Christian foundation’.

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