The Let Kids Be Kids Coalition believes that parents are responsible for the upbringing of their own children and that Parliament has a legal duty to ensure that any education provision in sensitive ethical and moral fields is in conformity with the parents’ religious and philosophical convictions.
Under current law sex education is mandatory in all maintained schools – but parents have an unqualified right to withdraw their children from sex education classes, no questions asked. Independent schools are not required to teach sex education. So parents’ rights to ensure education in conformity with their religious and philosophical convictions are respected.
With effect from 1st September 2020 the Government has introduced compulsory Relationships Education (RE) for all primary school children, compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for all secondary school children, and compulsory Health Education (HE) for all primary and secondary school children.
- The DfE is encouraging the teaching of Relationships Education and Health Education to include content that amounts to sex education. But parents will have no veto over the curriculum content, even when it conflicts with firmly-held moral and religious convictions, and parents will have no right to withdraw their children from these new subjects.
- Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) will be compulsory in all secondary schools (maintained schools and independent schools). However, parents’ rights to withdraw their children from RSE will be significantly limited: the final decision is up to the head teacher, and the right effectively ceases to apply three terms before the child turns 16.
The LKBK Coalition is concerned that mandatory Relationships Education and Health Education in primary school will include content that is inappropriate for young children and that the fundamental principle of parental control will be undermined. The Coalition is also concerned that the right of parents to remove their children from sex education is being severely limited.