Respond NOW to Government Consultation on Relationships & Sex Education
The Department of Education is seeking views on the Draft Regulations, Statutory Guidance, and Regulatory Impact Assessment relating to the new compulsory subjects of Relationships Education, Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education for schools in England.
The consultation closes on 7 November 2018.
SPUC Safe at School has prepared a briefing to help you respond to the consultation.
Background to the Consultation
- In March 2017, the Government passed the Children & Social Work Act (2017) which made the new subject of Relationships Education compulsory in ALL primary schools in England, and Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) compulsory in ALL secondary schools in England. It was announced that the required content of these new subjects would be subject to public consultation. The Act also gave the Secretary of State for Education the power to make PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic education) compulsory, pending further consultation.
- In December 2017 the Department for Education opened their public ‘Call for Evidence’ to consult on the content of these new subjects. They had also been in a closed consultation with favoured special interest groups prior to this. The public consultation closed in February 2018 and received over 23,000 submissions.
- In July 2018 the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds MP, announced the publication of its Draft Guidance on the content and delivery of the new subjects. He also announced a change in policy regarding the Government’s previously stated intention to retain parents’ right to withdraw their children from the ‘sex education’ aspects of RSE (see below). In addition, he announced that rather than making PSHE compulsory, the Government was instead creating a third new compulsory subject, Health Education, which would be taught in both primary and secondary schools.
- The Government also announced a public consultation on the content of the new Draft Regulations and Guidance, which closes on 7th November 2018. Further, it announced that the new Regulations and Guidance would now come into force in September 2020 (rather than September 2019 as previously stated).
Why it’s important to respond to the consultation
This consultation seeks the views of ‘all those with an interest’ on the proposed content and delivery of Relationships Education (primary), Relationships & Sex Education (secondary) and Health Education. These subjects will have the potential to greatly affect the moral formation, health and well-being of ALL children at ALL schools. Every school (including faith and independent schools) is required to deliver the new subjects and to ‘have regard’ to the Secretary of State’s Statutory Guidance.
Both the scope and compulsory nature of these subjects constitute a radical and extensive State takeover of fundamental areas of a child’s upbringing — areas which have up to now been regarded as the natural and rightful duty and responsibility of parents, as the primary educators of their children.
Some of the most concerning aspects of the new Draft Regulations and Guidance include:
- Promotes abortion and facilitates underage sex — Secondary school children will be provided with comprehensive ‘non-judgemental’ information on contraception and abortion. They will be signposted as to where and how to obtain contraception and abortion services without parental knowledge or consent. Carrying an unborn child to term is presented simply as one of the possible options when pregnant, alongside that of having an abortion.
- Parents lose their 'right of withdrawal' — Parents now have NO legal right to withdraw their children from ‘sex education’ at secondary school. The parental right of withdrawal has been replaced by a ‘right to request withdrawal’. In an affront to parents, the decision over whether a child can be withdrawn has been given to the head teacher.
- ‘LGBT inclusive’ — The children's programme of study is expected to be 'LGBT inclusive' throughout and present homosexual relationships and family structures in a positive manner, including at primary school. Teenagers will be encouraged to ‘explore’ their developing ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’.
- Real marriage is sidelined — Redefined to include ‘same sex marriage’ (and on a par with Civil Partnerships), marriage is simply presented as one possible relationship option. The emphasis is on the diversity of different 'healthy' relationships and family structures.
- Parents are sidelined — The role of the school, teachers and the State has been greatly expanded into areas up to now considered the rightful and natural territory of parental responsibility. The new compulsory subjects (including Health Education) attempt to cover virtually every aspect of the child’s moral formation, health and well-being. This will further undermine and discourage good, conscientious parenting.
Please use this important opportunity to make a stand to protect our children, as well as the right of parents to raise them in the way they know is best. Your submission will make a difference. If you need any further information or assistance contact Safe at School on 020 7820 3141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org