Marriage will be mentioned in the national statement of values produced by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority, despite the reservations of many teachers and parents. SCAA's 200-strong lay advisory group, the National Values Forum, this week endorsed a statement which will "support the institution of marriage".
The list of values proposed by the meeting went on, however, to "recognise that the love and commitment required for a secure and happy childhood can be found in families of different kinds".
Some forum members were unhappy that marriage should be emphasised as many pupils come from broken homes. But the move will probably go some way towards satisfying the Education and Employment Secretary Gillian Shephard, who last year demanded a stronger emphasis on marriage than the NVF was proposing.
It did not go far enough to satisfy five members of the group who want to "promote marriage as the ideal foundation for family life and the best relationship for generating the love and commitment required to give children a secure and happy childhood".
The meeting also proposed national model syllabuses for moral, personal and social education. These would be advisory, and would be produced along the same lines as the national model syllabuses for religious education. The personal and social education (PSE) title would be scrapped. Last year, SCAA chief executive Dr Nicholas Tate criticised much PSE as insufficiently focused.