MPs clamour for statutory sex education in English primary schools

The chairmen of five House of Commons select committees have co-signed a letter calling for sex education to be compulsory for all primary schools in England.

In the letter, the committee chairmen ask Education Secretary Justine Greening to give “serious thought” to making it a required subject.

The Christian Institute has repeatedly warned of the dangers of nationally prescribed sex education and also highlighted some of the explicit material being recommended for use in lessons.

‘Local level’

Currently, local authority maintained secondary schools must offer sex and relationship education (SRE), but primary schools are not required to do so.

All schools must have a publicly available policy and parents have a right to withdraw their children from sex education at any age.

Earlier this year, The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Policy and Staffing, 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.”

“Children already face huge social pressure to be sexualised. Exposing children to explicit details about sex at an ever younger age is the wrong way to address the issue.”

In their letter to the Education Secretary, MPs Neil Carmichael, Maria Miller, Yvette Cooper, Sarah Wollaston, and Iain Wright, said they “regret” that the Government has “failed to seize the opportunity” to introduce statutory personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) – which includes SRE.

‘Lifelong consequences’

They add that Greening should give “serious thought” to their proposal, claiming that failing to teach sex education to children can have “lifelong consequences”.

The Department for Education has said it is considering “all the options” in its ongoing review of sex education policy.

In September 2016, Justine Greening told the Education Select Committee that the Government’s policy on PSHE is in her “in-tray”, saying “I think it is time we looked to how we can do a better job.”

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