Government rejects calls for more sex education

Fri, 12 Feb 2016

The Education Secretary has rejected calls to make sex education a statutory subject in all primary and secondary schools in England.

In a letter to Neil Carmichael, the chair of the Education Select Committee, Nicky Morgan MP said the Government will work on an “action plan” instead.

In January four House of Commons committee chairmen, including Mr Carmichael, wrote to Mrs Morgan to say they are ‘disappointed’ that she has not made personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) and sex and relationships education (SRE) statutory already.

Plans

In her response, Mrs Morgan said the Government would not commit to making PSHE and SRE statutory.

However, she also laid out plans for a “PSHE toolkit” for schools and said she would “carefully consider” revising the current guidance on SRE.

Currently, local authority maintained secondary schools must offer sex and relationships education, but free schools, academies and all primary schools are not required to do so.

Harm

Last month, the chairmen of the Education Committee, the Health Committee, the Home Affairs Committee and the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee wrote to Nicky Morgan asking her to make tackling the issue of PSHE in schools her “New Year’s resolution”.

The Christian Institute has repeatedly warned that, rather than solving problems, additional statutory sex education will only cause more harm.

Spokesman for the Institute, Humphrey Dobson, said: “Decisions about sex education should not be centralised. They should continue to be taken at the local level by teachers, parents and governors working in partnership.

“A national curriculum for sex education would see control taken away from schools and put in the hands of those who advocate the use of material which most parents would find unacceptable.”