Head blames red tape for checks on bishop

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Tom Lawson at Eastbourne College said he had requested copies of sermons in advance from visiting clergy members to ensure he wasn’t falling short of Government anti-terrorism measures.

Neither senior chaplain at Eton College, Rev Stephen Grey or an unnamed bishop has been immune to Mr Lawson’s precautions, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Mr Lawson highlighted the Prevent programme – a Government initiative primarily trying to tackle Islamic extremism – as creating too much paperwork for school staff.

He told the newspaper he felt obliged to check the “suitability” of visiting speakers to ensure he was meeting the expectations of inspectors.

Mr Lawson also said: “The hypocrisy of the adult world is that we exhort and applaud young people who push beyond their comfort zone, but then as schools eschew every risk.”

Matthew Armstrong, head of King’s School in Worcester told the Mail on Sunday: “The combination of health and safety regulations, compliance requirements and Prevent strategies is becoming such a great burden that it requires real single-mindedness to focus on educating young people.”

Premier has approached the Department of Education and the Home Office for a comment.

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