The Prime Minister intends to strengthen guidance on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) to ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate materials, it has been reported.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Rishi Sunak plans to allow parents to view RSE content, including resources provided by outside organisations and is also considering a review of the Equality Act 2010 to emphasise that the protected characteristic of sex refers to biological sex, rather than gender.
This would clarify that single-sex spaces would be protected and that men cannot compete in women’s sports. A Downing Street source told the newspaper that protecting women and girls is one of the Government’s priorities.
Last month, the Information Commissioner’s Office’s ruled that parents of children at Hatcham College could not view lesson slides from the School of Sexuality Education because it was deemed to compromise the sex education provider’s “intellectual property”.
But Department for Education statutory guidance currently states: “Schools should ensure that parents know what will be taught and when, and clearly communicate the fact that parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE”.
It adds: “Parents should be given every opportunity to understand the purpose and content of Relationships Education and RSE. Good communication and opportunities for parents to understand and ask questions about the school’s approach help increase confidence in the curriculum.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission recently warned that the Scottish Government’s plans to allow people as young as 16 to choose their own legal sex could impact the rest of Great Britain.
Writing for The House magazine online, EHRC chief Baroness Falkner of Margravine raised the potential implications of having two conflicting systems in Great Britain for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).
The proposed legislation in Scotland makes it much easier to obtain a GRC – thereby changing legal sex – by removing the need for medical evidence and reducing the two-year waiting period to three months. It even extends ‘sex swaps’ to 16-year-olds.