Four House of Commons committee chairmen have written to the Education Secretary calling for sex education to be made a statutory subject in all primary and secondary schools in England.
In a letter addressed to Nicky Morgan MP, the chairmen of the health, education, home affairs and business committees said that they are ‘disappointed’ with the Department for Education’s failure to do so.
The Christian Institute has repeatedly warned that, rather than solving problems, statutory sex education will only cause more harm.
Spokesman for the Institute, 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.”
Exposing children to explicit details about sex at an ever younger age is the wrong way to address the issue.Humphrey Dobson
In their letter to Nicky Morgan, Neil Carmichael (Chair of the Education Committee), Dr Sarah Wollaston (Chair of the Health Committee), Keith Vaz (Chair of the Home Affairs Committee) and Ian Wright (Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee), said:
“We write to express our disappointment with your response so far to the issue of statutory status for PSHE and sex and relationships education in schools.”
They continued: “It is clear to the four of us that there is a need to work towards PSHE and SRE becoming statutory in all schools”.
The letter concluded: “We ask that you now make tackling the issue of PSHE in schools your New Year’s resolution.”
In February last year, the Education Committee called for the Department for Education to “develop a work plan” for compulsory sex education.
So far the Department for Education has made no move towards making PSHE and SRE statutory.
Currently, local authority maintained secondary schools must offer sex and relationships education, but free schools, academies and all primary schools are not required to do so.