Federal and state governments have been urged to drop disrupting gender theory programs such as ‘Safe Schools’ and Respectful Relationships in light off a damning report highlighting Australia’s falling education standards.

According to the International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) Australian students were falling behind other nations in mathematics and science.

Students in Year 4 and 8 were considerably outperformed by students in 17 countries in science, and 21 countries in mathematics.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said the focus on teaching contested gender theory that informs children their gender is fluid, was becoming a big distraction in classrooms.

“The introduction of the Safe Schools program into primary and secondary schools around the country has shifted the academic focus of classrooms onto social engineering aimed at appeasing an ideological minority,” Mr Shelton said.

“When class time is spent transitioning students from one gender into another, Australia’s results in the study should be of no surprise.

“Teachers are being distracted from the main curriculum and funds are being directed to the Safe Schools and Respectful Relationships programs rather than to strengthening the teaching of core competencies such as mathematics and science.”

In September, at a primary school in Melbourne’s west, Safe Schools co-founder Roz Ward used class time to hold a workshop launching the transition of a Year 4 student into their new gender. In the workshop, Ward advised the 10-year-old children to refrain from asking their classmate about the transition, and to deflect all questions to their teachers.

Mr Shelton said Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham was correct in acknowledging that the results were an embarrassment for Australia and served as a “wake-up call” to reassess what is being taught in our classrooms.

“While increased funding has been suggested as one solution to Australia’s poor academic results in schools, the effects of focusing on radical ideology in the classroom cannot be ignored,” Mr Shelton warned.

“Australian educators need to question the harmful consequences of propping up a social program at the expense of basic skills such as mathematics and science.”