Most Britons believe that parents are best placed to decide when young children learn about sex, a new poll has found.
The ComRes poll found 65 per cent thought that parents were most appropriate – with 66 per cent saying politicians were the least appropriate.
It comes as the Government considers plans to change sex education for children across England.
Currently the Government is running a “call for evidence” on the new primary school Relationships Education subject, and on secondary school Relationships and Sex Education. A full consultation will follow.
In the poll, recently carried out online, people were asked: “In your view, who is the most appropriate person/people to decide on the right age primary school age children should learn about issues of sexual orientation and sexual relationships?”
Given the options of “parents, teachers, politicians, doctors, and children”, almost two thirds backed parents.
Around 80 per cent of those polled agreed that schools should be “required to make the content of this relationships education available to parents before it is taught in schools”.
Respondents also strongly supported schools notifying parents ahead of time if any external charity or organisation is “going to be involved in teaching this relationships education”.
And they gave support for the new teaching to cover family relationships, friendships, staying safe online and avoiding unsafe contact with strangers.
Limit state’s role
Evangelical Alliance commissioned the poll, and called on ministers to listen and not disregard parents.
Dr David Landrum, Evangelical Alliance’s director of advocacy said: “Parents know their children best, and when it comes to teaching about relationships, they are clearly the right people to make the ‘what and when’ decisions about such issues.
“The government should listen to these results and not try and ride roughshod over the will of parents.
“When it comes to teaching sensitive issues around sex and relationships, it’s clear that the role of the state and politics should be limited.”