Parents to lose the right to opt-out of Relationships and Sex Education from 2020

This is a guest post by David Kurten AM. 

Under cover of Brexit, the government is pushing through one of the most unpopular and destructive policies ever considered by a ‘Conservative’ government. It wants to make Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in schools from September 2020. Highly sexualised material is already available in hundreds of primary schools, which undermine traditional family values and confuses children about gender, but teaching these things will become compulsory in all schools if the government gets its way.

Many parents and Parliamentarians are simply unaware of the kind of explicit materials already available in primary schools. They are told they are for ‘anti-bullying programs’ and for ‘safeguarding’ children. Busy MPs and peers are hoodwinked by these words, but the document ‘Too Much, Too Young’ clearly explains what has been already been recommended for children as young as 5-years-old. 

The vote on the statutory instrument which will make it law was originally planned for Thursday 28th March but has been brought forward to Wednesday 20th March – the same day as the third vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. It will be debated in the Commons straight after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. 

It is almost unheard of for a statutory instrument to be defeated in the House of Commons as MPs from the governing party do not normally vote against them. This is an issue which cuts across party lines however, so it may be that a majority of MPs may vote against it, however unlikely.  

 It will also be scrutinised at 3.45 on Tue 19th March in Secondary Legislation Sub-Committee B of the House of Lords by a committee of 11 Peers. If they do not annul it there the full house of Lords will vote on it. The date has not yet been set, but it is likely to happen soon. It needs a majority in both houses to become law, so a defeat in either the Commons or the Lords will annul it. 

An open letter from The Values Foundation to Education Secretary Damien Hinds asking him to respect the rights of parents as the primary educators of their children attracted over 140 signatures from leaders and experts from across the political spectrum.

 

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