Although all schools have positive and appealing vision statements, none are neutral. All Scottish schools are expected to support the underlying values of Scottish education: Wisdom, Justice, Compassion and Integrity. Nevertheless, on a day-to-day basis most schools tend to reflect a range of prevailing cultural biases in their ethos and teaching.
This is why it is vitally important to talk to your child about the assumed values and attitudes within their schoolwork, helping them to recognise and resist un-Christian ideas that they may be taught. This teaching must begin and be sustained in the home. This is also why it is important to maintain good communication with your child’s teachers, in order to affirm the positive importance of Christian values in teaching and learning.
Often, though not exclusively, tensions can arise in relation to Christian values as they apply to Social and Health Education (Health and Wellbeing) which covers things like drug awareness, healthy living, economic wellbeing, citizenship, financial responsibility, diet and nutrition, and Sex and Relationships Education. If for example you become aware that sex is being portrayed as a casual leisure activity rather than a gift to be enjoyed within marriage; or forms of racism are endorsed; or greed or exploitation of others is shown as acceptable – the first thing to do is to check all the facts rather than simply react. Once you have clearly established precisely what and how something was taught, by whom, to whom and when – then you should prepare to talk to the teaching staff. The support of other parents can often be important when addressing problems.
It is never wise to go storming up to the school after a particular trigger point! Ask to see the teachers concerned for a discussion so that they can understand your point of view and values. And be aware that there will come a point when your child should be exposed to controversy and taught to handle it.