Sunday Mirror

Trust our schools to do right by our kids


There is a growing debate over whether parents should have a say in what their children are taught at school.

As a parent and school governor, I’m vehemently against any interferen­ce from parents.

I trust teachers to teach a curriculum that gives children a rounded education that will prepare them for life and work – and which gives them the skills to think for themselves.

I’ve never felt the urge to question or interfere. Even when my 14-year-old son Zac was recently given a detention for silly behaviour in the library, my gut reaction was “yes, you probably deserved that”. And he himself later came to the conclusion that he had been misbehavin­g.

I’m not saying I give the school full responsibi­lity for shaping my child’s values and thinking. I take a very full-on role at home – teaching my kids the importance of learning, establishi­ng a good work ethic, taking pride in personal care and hygiene, understand­ing personal finance and instilling in them good manners.

In other words, I complement the work the school does by building them up as good humans at home. The great thing about school curriculum­s is that they adapt to the changing social, economic and political world we live in, so our children are given the appropriat­e education. My kids’ world is very different to the one I grew up in. Take sex education, for example. Back in the 80s it was very simple – essentiall­y you just had to remember the equation, man+woman=baby.

We were also taught about sexually transmitte­d diseases and the importance of condoms.

Yet I was very grateful for this limited informatio­n because I did not have parents who talked about sex.

In fact, anything to do with the body, feelings and relationsh­ips were all taboo subjects at home.

My parents weren’t capable of teaching me about sex – and even if they had been, they would have taught it through their religious and cultural bias, which would have led me to believe that to have sex out of wedlock would be the worst thing I could ever do, bringing shame on my family and the wider community. But my kids come home after PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) lessons talking openly about all sorts of things, including the Black Lives Matter movement, white privilege, gender identity, consent and relationsh­ips.

When I worry about my kids being taught subjects I can’t get my head around, I realise my reaction is no more than a reflection of my own fears, ignorance and ingrained views.

My kids are being equipped to challenge those views.

Often we don’t see eye to eye, but it’s great that school has taught them how to debate and to have their own opinions.

That’s surely a sign of a good and progressiv­e education system.

Parents mustn’t interfere... world has moved on

SUPPORT: Klitschko
 ?? ?? APPROPRIAT­E Lessons today
APPROPRIAT­E Lessons today

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom