Parents must challenge government over relationships and sex education, says SPUC Safe at School
18 December 2017
SPUC Safe at School is calling on parents to challenge the government over the way in which relationships and sex education is taught in schools. Relationships and sex education is now a compulsory school subject for every school child in England, including those at independent, free schools and academies.
The government has launched a public consultation to gather views on how this new compulsory subject should be taught.
Antonia Tully of Safe at School said: "Compulsory sex education deals an insidious blow to family life. The state is effectively taking over the role of parents in the moral and spiritual education of their children. Teaching children about sex, guiding them through the sexual minefield of today's world is the job of parents, not the state".
"It's not good enough to say that some parents can't or won't speak to their children on these matters. The vast majority of parents are capable of doing so and are deeply invested in their children's welfare. But they are bombarded with messages that almost anyone other than themselves should be talking about sex to their children. This new legislation is effectively ordering parents to hand over their children's moral development to the state.
"Putting sex education on the same statutory footing as other school subjects sends a message to parents that informing their children about sex and preparing them for adulthood, is no more their direct concern that teaching their children maths or chemistry.
"Schools do have a role in supporting and encouraging parents to engage fully with their children on issues such as sexting and pornography. But parents are best placed to guide their children and to take effective action to protect them.
"The school isn't there at midnight to deal with a distraught teenager who is the victim of sexting. It is parents who are left to pick up the pieces - totally bewildered because they were under the impression that the school had sorted out this problem.
"Children as young a five years old will now face lessons on sexting, sexual harassment and the LGBT agenda. This is an intrusion into their childhood. Far from preparing young children for the modern world, this is violating their innocence. And the new legislation disempowers parents from providing the protection their children so much need.
"We hope that the government will not sideline the views of parents. The sort of recommendations we are looking for from this consultation are that:
- schools will give full disclosure to parents of all the materials which will be used to deliver this subject;
- schools willl give parents adequate notice and full disclosure of any visiting speakers to the school;
- special needs children will be given a special dispensation from lessons;
- every parent in the school will be consulted and be able to help determine the content of the lessons
- what is "age-appropriate" will be decided by parents and not by the school.
Antonia Tully, SPUC Director of Campaigns and Fundraising, can be contacted on:
Or contact Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC Director of Education and Communications, on: