Sex education should be made a ‘statutory’ subject in all primary and secondary schools, according to a controversial recommendation by a sex ed lobby group.
The comments by the FPA, formerly the Family Planning Association, are likely to alarm many parents who have become ever more concerned at the increasingly explicit nature of sex and relationships education (SRE).
The plans would mean schools would be required to teach the subject. But under the 1996 Education Act parents have a legal right to withdraw their child from sex education lessons.
Last week Julie Bentley, chief executive of the pro-abortion group, said: “FPA believes that it is still necessary to implement statutory SRE in schools to ensure that our young people get the information and skills needed to make safe and healthy life choices.”
However, critics have warned that increasing sex education and handing out contraception will only serve to give the green light to young people to experiment sexually.
Julie Bentley said: “FPA would also urge Government to issue revised sex and relationships education (SRE) guidance to ensure that schools are immediately clear about what should be taught.”
A recent parliamentary briefing produced by the FPA, in conjunction with the pro-abortion sexual health service Brook, revealed that both organisations favoured making SRE statutory at all primary and secondary schools.
Julie Bentley’s comments came in response to a final report of the soon-to-be-axed quango, the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group, that failed to halve the UK’s high teenage pregnancy rate.
Despite the persistent failure of the ‘take a fistful of condoms’ approach to sex education the quango, which is being scrapped later this month, called for more investment in contraceptives and sex ed.
In July a study by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, warned that parents were “rarely” consulted about their children’s lessons involving sex education.
The study also found that some schools were failing to help children to ‘say no’ to sex, in their Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education lessons.
The study, which looked at 165 schools in England, also covered alcohol awareness education and said children should be taught about the illegality of underage drinking.
However, no such mention of the illegality of having sex under the age of consent was made in the report.
In May it was revealed that angry mums had slammed a primary school’s plan to show pupils an explicit sex ed video, and warned that it could cause children to experiment sexually.
The video, a Channel 4 production called Living and Growing, shows a naked cartoon couple chasing each other around a bed and then having sex, while a voice-over gives a detailed description of the action.
Cliff Lane Primary School was planning to show the video to seven-year-old pupils, but outraged mums were left horrified after they saw the graphic DVD during a consultation.
Kara Munday, whose five-year-old daughter attends the school, said: “We are genuinely concerned that sexual activity would take place because they would be aware of what these parts do and how to make it feel nice”.
She added: “Their innocence will be taken away at an early age.”