Primary schools and academies in England will be forced to teach sex education, with no right of withdrawal for parents, if a new proposal becomes law.
New Clause 5 (NC5), would create a national curriculum subject of ‘Relationships Education’, opening the door for lobby groups to push explicit material on kids as young as five.
It has been put forward by MPs David Burrowes and Maria Miller as part of the Children and Social Work Bill. It would apply to all state-funded schools.
Marketed as ‘Relationships Education’, the new clause is so broad that it includes many aspects of sex education for which parents currently have a right of withdrawal.
However, because it creates a compulsory subject, this right of withdrawal would no longer apply.
It could also be used to compel church schools to endorse same-sex marriage.
Director of The Christian Institute, Colin Hart, slammed the proposals, calling them “poorly drafted, dangerous and amoral”.
“This is an amendment which will alarm every parent whose child attends a state-funded school,” he said.
“The current sex education framework has safeguards to protect children which have been carefully formulated over decades.
“NC5 sidesteps those provisions in a blatant attempt to introduce sex education to primary schools by the back door.
Mr Hart continued: “The proposals deal with many things that we share concerns over, like online safety and pornography, but this is the wrong way to go about it.
“Foisting responsibility for these issues onto schools while riding roughshod over the concerns of parents, will not safeguard children.
“It has been well reported that even now lessons on pornography are teaching children to grade pornographic material as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
“The approach taken by advocates of sex education fails to properly acknowledge that pornography is dangerous and addictive.
“Some even teach about sexting saying that it’s OK as long as it’s ‘consensual’! That doesn’t help children. NC5 is going to make child sexualisation much worse.
“Sex education has a right of withdrawal with good reason but no such right applies here.
“It gives a green light to teaching explicit sexual topics under the banner of ‘relationships’ and parents will be powerless to protect their children.
“From the age of five children would be indoctrinated to respect ‘all types of healthy relationships’.
“But some would say polygamy is healthy, or revolving door relationships are healthy. It confuses respect for people with respect for the relationships in which they are engaged.
“The age of consent is 16 years old. This proposal blows that apart.
“NC5 sends out the message that as long as there is consent, any configuration of adults is somehow okay.”
Mr Hart concluded: “The thinking behind it is very muddled and the amendment itself is poorly drafted, dangerous and amoral.”
If passed the clause would make the new subject the only national curriculum requirement for academies and free schools.
Control over sex education would be passed from head teachers, governors and parents to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening.
According to The Daily Telegraph, a source close to the Education Secretary said that she wanted to ensure that any changes to sex education lasted the test of time.