It was great to see so many of our supporters at our conference at the RAF Club in London on Saturday 3rd July and to be able to chat to people in person after so many months of restrictions!
Our conference began with an introduction from our Chair of Trustees, Arthur Cornell, who spoke about his experience of getting involved with FET in the early days of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Arthur was working at an inner city school in Southampton, where he noticed that many children were taking out their home life frustrations on the school staff.
A turning point in education in the UK at this time, was the tragic case of a 10-year-old child committing suicide, which forced schools to appoint pastoral staff to oversee the emotional wellbeing of children.
Arthur realised that children were at risk due to the breakdown of family life, and became involved with FET after becoming concerned at the power of certain pressure groups which were influencing sex education as part of the curriculum. These groups were exposing children to explicit information about sexual activity, contraception and abortion with no moral framework, while completely ignoring the age of consent. There was no respect for historic families or marriage, and the cost to the nation had escalated. There was a huge rise in teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and children were open to abuse and exploitation.
FET helped Arthur to create RSE programme
As a headmaster, Arthur wished to have no teenage pregnancies in his school. With help from the FET to devise a suitable sex education curriculum, throughout his tenure of 20 years, there were no pregnancies within his school.
Arthur spoke about the great loss of FET’s late director, Norman Wells, who tragically died from Covid in April 2020. Norman left a great legacy which the trustees want to build on as we look to the future.
In summary, Arthur said that as FET enters into a new season: “We shall not change the issues, but we will move forward making sure that we communicate these issues effectively to a new audience as our next challenge.”
FET 50 Year Booklet
Senior researcher Piers Shepherd introduced his work on the booklet which details the 50 year history of FET, and how the issues have changed over the years as FET seeks to support families. He spoke about the current threat to children of the transgender debate and how “cancel culture” threatens free speech.
The booklet tells the story of FET by focussing on the issues over the past 50 years. These issues include defending marriage and the rights of parents over their children’s education.
“The work all began with a letter to the newspaper,” he said. “There is an expression ‘small stones make landslides’ and that certainly applies in this case.”
Piers spoke about the impact that FET has had for the last 50 years and thanked the supporters who have been with us throughout this time.
Download the anniversary booklet The Family Education Trust A Fifty Year Journey
The FET 50 Year Anniversary video is now available to view on our Youtube channel
The afternoon session of our conference featuring speakers Sharon James and Robin Aitken is also available to view on YouTube