Sex education videos will be rated for the first time following an outcry from parents and teachers, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Starting later this month, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will decide whether the videos should be rated PG.
The decision follows a BBFC research report, which revealed that a growing number of parents are pulling children from sex education lessons.
Published earlier this month, the report also documents teachers’ concerns over Channel 4’s controversial sex education DVD, Living and Growing.
Two years ago, the then Schools Minister Nick Gibb called for explicit scenes to be axed from the film.
Speaking of the film, he said: “Parents will be shocked that this type of material is present in primary schools”.
At one London school parents protested against the film while wearing t-shirts that read “Too Much Too Young” – which echoed The Christian Institute’s campaign against extending sex education to primary schools.
Teachers were also incredulous in their response to the video, likening one particular scene in Channel 4′s film to “child pornography”.
Schools will now be told to inform parents about the content of sex education videos before they are shown in class.
Sex in educational videos should not be anything more than “implied” and the language should not go beyond “mild references and innuendo”, The Telegraph reports.
If either requirement is not met, the material will be effectively banned from primary schools.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said the new classifications will help parents make more “confident decisions about whether certain DVDs are suitable for their children to watch”.
Alongside rating sex education videos, the BBFC are set to produce additional material outlining the content of the videos.
David Austin, the head of policy at the BBFC, said: “We hope to help schools and help parents find out more about the content of sex education videos before their children see them”.
Earlier this month, Peers rejected proposals requiring all state-funded primary schools to teach sex education.
The House of Lords voted down Labour’s proposals by 209 to 142.
Alongside primary school sex education, the amendment proposed that parental withdrawal rights would only apply to children aged under 15.
Conservative Baroness Knight of Collingtree said she was “appalled” to find that, “children as young as four were being told in sex education how to perform the sex act”.