A new amendment to the Government’s Academies Bill has been tabled by Labour as part of an ongoing push to force sex education on children as young as five.
Former Education Secretary Ed Balls has put forward plans for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) to be compulsory for all pupils in academy schools.
A similar amendment in the House of Lords was rejected by Peers earlier this month.
Under Labour’s new amendment all academies, including academy primary schools, would have to teach sex education.
Parents’ right to remove their children from sex education classes would also be taken away.
Academy schools are all-ability state funded schools, which have greater curriculum freedom than other state schools.
The PSHE proposal is set to be debated tomorrow when the Academies Bill is discussed at committee stage.
The amendment in the House of Lords was proposed by Labour Peer Baroness Massey. It would have taken control of PSHE lessons out of the hands of governors, but the amendment was defeated by 80 votes.
Conservative Peer and former Home Secretary, Lord Waddington, said the idea behind academies was that they should have “greater freedom than other schools rather than less”.
“Surely academies should be free to choose not to provide sex education for children of primary school age when the school and parents think that it would not be appropriate”, he commented.
In April the previous Government was forced to drop its plans for compulsory sex education, which were contained in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.
Under those proposals, sex education was to become a statutory part of the national curriculum and control over the content of lessons was to be taken away from school governors and given to Whitehall officials.
At the time the plans came under fire from hundreds of head teachers and faith leaders who called on the Government to drop them.
In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, also signed by The Christian Institute’s Director Colin Hart, the group made clear that the primary responsibility for raising children lies with parents and guardians.
And they added that while schools may be entrusted with the formal education of children, the “overall responsibility” remains with parents and guardians.
The letter continued: “The Children, Schools and Families Bill undermines this principle and seeks to impose a particular ideology by means of statutory sex and relationships education from the age of five”.