Because of its gender-woke policies, the Church of England continues to cause an uproar among parents whose children attend its schools.

The Church of England has been accused of failing to intervene over primary schools teaching children they can be “pangender”, as the Government’s trans guidance for schools is delayed.

The Rev Canon Nigel Genders, the CofE’s chief education officer, was urged to step in after a parent warned him that children as young as seven were being taught about contested gender identity beliefs in a CofE primary school.

Children at Swanton Morley VC Primary School in Dereham, Norfolk, are being taught that people can be “pangender” or “cisgender”, the parent said. They are also being taught the concept of being “born with a vagina” but “feeling like a boy”, he claimed.

The relationships, sex and health education (RHSE) materials were produced by Educator Solutions, a trading arm of Norfolk County Council.

Responding to the parent’s concerns, Rev Genders told him to “continue to be in discussion” with the school. In correspondence seen by the Telegraph, he said: “The RSHE policy and decisions about the resources used to deliver it are the responsibility of the school in consultation with parents, having due regard to any advice from the Diocesan Board of Education.”

He added: “Given that schools are seeking to do the very best for children as they grow in maturity, and mindful of the high profile focus on this area in the media and elsewhere, it will be very helpful to have new guidance from the Government on how these contested issues are handled within educational settings. We expect this guidance very soon.”

‘Does not seem willing to act’

The parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph: “Mr Genders does not seem willing to act now to prevent primary children under his watch in CofE schools being subject to the beginnings of ideological indoctrination, and explicit sexualising content.

“Furthermore, passing the buck of responsibility entirely to the head teachers, and waiting on updated guidance from the Department for Education, is totally inadequate. Action is needed now to protect children. Are CofE schools that push this dangerous content CofE in name only?”

The row comes as the Government prepares to delay long-awaited guidance for schools on pupils who question their gender identity. In March, Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, pledged that guidance for schools on transgender issues would be published “for the summer term”.

However, it is understood that it will be delayed until later this year after the Attorney General and government lawyers said that plans to strengthen the guidance would be unlawful. Mr Sunak has said it is “important” to take the time to get the guidance on transgender pupils right as it is a “complex and sensitive issue”. 

Urgent review of sex education

An earlier draft of the guidance had said that pupils could socially transition with the consent of parents. After a backlash from some Conservative MPs and campaign groups, the Government sought legal advice about whether it could ban social transitioning in schools entirely. However, Downing Street was advised that this would be unlawful.

The Government has separately launched an urgent review of sex education in schools after MPs and parents warned the existing guidance, published in 2019, places no ceiling on what can be taught. An independent panel has been asked to put age limits on lessons and is due to report back in the autumn.

Rev Genders said: “From the national perspective, we are waiting for DfE to issue new guidance in this area.

“We are also pleased to know that there will be a thorough review of RSHE materials in the forthcoming DfE review as that will give a much better sense of the situation and enable us to take a view based on broader evidence.

“The length of time it is taking for the Government to produce guidance shows how complex the issues are in relation to the law and Equality Act. If government is finding this difficult, it is understandable that schools need really clear guidance so that they can ensure children are treated with the dignity they deserve without themselves being caught up in legal battles. We look forward to the new guidance and clarity that should bring.”

Responding to concerns about the teaching materials earlier this year, a spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “We trust and support head teachers to make decisions that are in the best interests of their pupils.”

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