The idea of teachers telling primary school children about sex in place of their parents is “deeply disturbing”, an MP has said.
The issue was raised by Sir Patrick Cormack MP in a parliamentary question to schools minister Jim Knight.
Sir Patrick said: “Whatever may be done in secondary schools, is there not something deeply disturbing about a society in which young primary school children can be taught the mechanics of sex by those who are not allowed to put a comforting hand on their shoulders?”
In response, Mr Knight said that this was an “interesting philosophical point.”
He added that the responsibility for sex education should be shared “between home and school”, and that parents should have a “loud voice in how sex and relationship education is delivered for their children.”
The Government is currently conducting a review of sex and relationships education in schools, which is due to report soon.
There are deep concerns that the review will lead to explicit lessons being made compulsory at both primary and secondary level.
Sex education proponents the FPA (formerly known as the Family Planning Association) and Brook have called for the introduction of mandatory sex education for children as young as four.
But campaign group Family and Youth Concern (FYC) recently warned that this would undermine the role of parents.
Spokesman Norman Wells said: “What this is really all about is the sex education establishment trying to force schools to do something many parents – and many teachers – are uncomfortable with.
“Schools already have to have a sex education policy, but that policy must be developed in close consultation with parents, and schools must be sensitive to the wishes of parents.
“But the fpa want to take parents out of the equation and remove discretion from schools.”