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".
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."
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