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Parents, not teachers or politicians, should decide about children's sex education, says poll

1 February 2018

​Parents should be the primary educators of their children on these matters.

Will the government take note? 

Most Britons believe that parents are best placed to decide when young children learn about sex, a new poll has found. There was also strong support for parents being fully informed on what their children are being taught on the subject.

The ComRes poll found that two thirds (65 per cent) of adults think that parents are the most appropriate people to decide when primary school children should learn about sexual activity and sexual orientation. Only 7% thought politicians were the most appropriate, with 66 per cent saying they are the least appropriate group to make that decision. Significantly, only 13 % thought teachers the most appropriate.

State or parents?

The findings are significant in light of the ongoing consultation the Government is conducting on the new primary school Relationships Education subject, and on secondary school Relationships and Sex Education.

Respond to the Consultation! 

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 made Relationship Education a compulsory school subject in all primary schools, with no option for parents to withdraw their children from these lessons. The ComRes poll found that 51% of respondents thought that a parental opt-out should be available.

Parents must be at the heart

There was even stronger support for parents being informed about what is taught in school sex and relationships classes. 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".

Primary educators

The poll was commissioned by the Evangelical Alliance, who 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."

News in brief:

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Comments (6)

  • Faiza

    3 February 2018, 1:07pm

    No for sex and relationship education for our kids

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  • Nisar Khan Faiza

    6 February 2018, 3:31pm

    Perents should be the one's to educate children on sex no teachers or politations it every perents duty only

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  • Nick Casey Faiza

    11 February 2018, 8:49pm

    I don't want my child to have sex &relationship education.l don't want her as a thirteen year old to think that the likes of same sex marriages &gender change is right for a Christian upbringing & l think as a parent l should be able to opt out of this&the government should not ride roughshod over the will of parents.

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  • Layla Saeed

    6 February 2018, 5:58pm

    No to see and relationship education stop forcing these things on our children and stop confusing our children . This is just to confuse muslim children nothing else.

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  • Kamran

    7 February 2018, 9:59am

    We the parents should decide, we don’t require a nanny state telling us what is right or wrong for our children! Focus on putting this country right... feed the homeless... that is the job of the government and not interfering in ordinary people’s lives who are just trying to make a simple living!

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  • hannah lee

    9 February 2018, 10:10pm

    Explicit sex education is bring taught in the majority of schools and the graphic content is disturbing. Most parents don't have a clue what their children are being exposed to once they've hand them over to the schools each morning. My advice is ask your school for their SRE policy and find out what resources/programme they are using to deliver SRE. It's not just SRE either that's the concern. Schools are deceiving parents and using PSHE and Science as a means of delivering explicit content to young children.

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