Enforce sex lessons from the age of five

Speculation is growing that the Government’s answer to record abortion numbers among schoolgirls is to start sex education with five-year-olds and scrap the parental opt-out.

Yesterday’s figures showed a 21 per cent leap in abortions for under-14s between 2006 and 2007. The overall number of abortions reached an all-time high.

Under the current law schools must teach the biological facts about sex in science lessons to secondary school pupils. But anything more than this is not compulsory and parents can ask for their children not to be included.

In February the Government launched a review of sex education. It includes considering targeting primary schools and scrapping the parental opt-out.

The UK Youth Parliament was asked to play a leading role in the review. The group supports removing a parent’s right to withdraw their child from sex lessons.

According to The Times today, Ministers have repeatedly hinted that the proposal will be adopted. But the Department for Children, Families and Schools has said it has “no current plans” to make sex lessons compulsory.

Other articles in today’s papers also report the speculation that the Government intends to force compulsory sex lessons on five-year-olds.

But critics say more sex education is not the answer. After decades of the ‘safer sex’ approach Britain still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in western Europe.

More than 20 schoolgirls become pregnant in England every day. Sexually Transmitted Infections have risen sharply amongst teenagers.

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