A former Cabinet Minister has called for sex education to be made a compulsory subject in all schools.
Maria Miller, the former Culture Secretary who steered the same-sex marriage Bill through the House of Commons, is now Chairman of the Women and Equalities Committee.
Currently, primary schools are not required to teach sex education, but local authority maintained secondary schools must do so. The Department for Education has said that it expects the same from secondary academies, including free schools.
Change of heart
In a House of Commons debate last week, Miller said she had ‘changed her mind’ about compulsory sex education.
“I have been very open that I felt that sex and relationship education should be something that is determined by a school.
“But I think as we move in to this online world the very real dangers and problems that children are encountering, I think, has certainly changed my views on the need to make that compulsory.”
Miller called for changes to the existing curriculum, adding that there should be “compulsorily delivered sex and relationship education in all of our schools”.
The call follows revelations that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan was prevented from making sex education compulsory in primary schools earlier in the year by David Cameron.
In an interview with The Telegraph last month, Morgan said state schools needed to have more explicit teaching about sex and pornography but complained: “Some of my colleagues have been squeamish about this”.
The newspaper said she was referring to the Prime Minister “blocking her plan” to make sex education a statutory subject for all schools in England.
The Christian Institute has consistently argued that decisions about sex education should not be centralised.
Speaking earlier this year Deputy Director of The Christian Institute, Humphrey Dobson, said such decisions 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.”