High Court curriculum ruling 'disturbing': Lockhart

High Court curriculum ruling 'disturbing': Lockhart

Upper Bann MP, Carla Lockhart

Staff reporter

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Wednesday 6 July 2022 16:00

Upper Bann MP, Carla Lockhart, has been reacting to a High Court ruling that the exclusively Christian-focused religious education taught at primary schools in Northern Ireland is unlawful.

It comes after a father and daughter mounted a legal challenge to the syllabus in controlled primary schools.

Mr Justice Colton, decided that an obligation to base the core curriculum on the Holy Scriptures breaches human rights.

“The unlawfulness… identified requires a reconsideration of the core curriculum and the impugned legislation in relation to the teaching of Religious Education (RE) and the provision of Collective Worship (CW),” he said.

Responding to the ruling in the High Court in relation to Christian teaching in schools,Ms Lockhart said: “This is a disturbing ruling.

“Established practice in our schools, at the instruction of Colton J, is now being discarded, not by those elected to make such decisions, but by the judiciary.

“One wonders with the rapid creep of our courts into every aspect of Government policy, whether we ought to consider electing judges and doing away with MPs, MLAs and Councillors.

“Over the last 24 hours many local principals, teachers and parents have been in touch to express their strong opposition to this ruling. No school forces a Christian ethos on any pupil – opt-out is available from all Christian teachings or practices. This is an unnecessarily radical ruling.

“I have raised my concerns with the Education Minister and would support her in any appeal against this ruling.”

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