Lobby groups to give schools sex education guidance

Schools are set to receive new guidance on topics within sex education from groups that want to make the subject a statutory requirement.

The guidance will cover issues including sexting – sending sexually explicit messages on mobile phones – and the problem of pornography.

The Sex Education Forum and the PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) Association are writing the new guidance alongside Brook – a sexual health charity.


Education Secretary Michael Gove has previously said he is against introducing new guidance, saying it would quickly become out of date.

The Sex Education Forum and Brook have both said sex education should be made statutory, while the PSHE Association have backed a Telegraph campaign for ‘modernisation’.

Last year The Christian Institute criticised groups who supported the campaign, saying some of them “have a track record of pushing a liberal agenda and sidelining parents.


“Some of these groups, like the Sex Education Forum, want to make the subject mandatory and remove parents’ rights of withdrawal”, it added.

“Schools can still tackle issues of internet bullying and online porn, in an appropriate way, without new guidance”, The Christian Institute said.

Last week the Department for Education commented: “Rather than continually re-writing government guidance, we think it is much better to direct schools to the latest advice produced by experts groups.

“They are currently writing additional guidance on, among other topics, sexting, violence against women and the dangers of pornography.”

It is not clear what formal Government backing the guidance will receive, if any.


The news comes as David Cameron told MPs last week that “better guidance on some of the modern problems of cyber-bullying, sexting” could be added to sex education without subjecting it to a major overhaul.

“Do I want to open up the whole of sex and relationship education, and have a mega-debate about every single aspect of it? I’m not sure”, he also said.

“I would rather as a practical person, add some sensible bits and work with what we have”, the Prime Minister commented.


On Wednesday Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who has backed calls to rewrite sex education, noted there are a “fair number of wrangles in the Coalition Government about this”.

In Scotland a committee of MSPs has called for children to have safety workshops at school covering internet and social media dangers.