Parents are “rarely” consulted about their children’s lessons involving sex education, a new Ofsted report has said.
The study, by the Government’s schools inspectorate, found that some schools were failing to help children to ‘say no’ to sex, in their Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education lessons.
However, other conclusions of the report are likely to be seized upon by the sex education lobby, which is building up a head of steam to push for compulsory sex ed for all school children.
The Government has said it intends to review the entire curriculum, including proposals about sex education, in the autumn.
Ofsted’s new report claims that in 25 per cent of schools PSHE education is not good.
And it said some discussion of sex and relationships is “limited” because of teachers’ embarrassment about the subject.
Ofsted also claims that many primary schools are leaving teaching pupils about puberty too late.
The study, which looked at 165 schools in England, also covered alcohol awareness education and said children should be taught about the illegality of underage drinking.
However, no such mention of the illegality of having sex under the age of consent is made in the report.
Ofsted’s report is based on evidence from visits to English schools between September 2006 and July 2009.
Just this week an amendment to the Government’s Academies Bill was put forward by Labour, aiming to force all academy schools to teach sex education. It was defeated by 314 votes to 200.
Earlier in the month a similar amendment was defeated by over 80 votes in the House of Lords.
Under the previous Labour Government, proposals that would have made it compulsory to teach sex education to all children in England were eventually dropped.
When the proposals, in the Children, Schools and Families Bill, were going through Parliament, there was widespread concern.
In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph a group of faith leaders and head teachers made clear that the primary responsibility for raising children lies with parents and guardians.
The group 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”.