|Christoper Winter Project opposed by parents|
Tower Hamlets Parents' Action Group on SRE (THPAG-SRE), who are launching the petition, is a group of concerned Muslim parents with children at school in the borough. The group is supported by SPUC's Safe at School campaign.
These parents are angry that more than £80,000 of taxpayers' money has been spent on the Christopher Winter Project (CWP), a sexually-explicit teaching programme for schools in the borough. Tower Hamlets Council spent £2,277 on CWP and the NHS Primary Care Trust paid £78,000 to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to train teachers to use the resource. Teachers in 33 schools have been trained by CWP. These are mainly primary schools and include both Anglican and Catholic primary schools.
The parents are also unhappy that the Local Authority introduced this programme with no consultation with parents. Government guidelines on non-statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) stress repeatedly that parents must be involved in SRE. In addition, local authorities have a very limited role in the provision of sex education in schools. (See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/32/section/79 )
Tower Hamlets Parents' Action Group on SRE (THPAG-SRE) is therefore launching a borough-wide petition on Monday 21 May, calling on the Tower Hamlets Council and the Healthy Lives Team to stop all funding of CWP and allow schools to decide on SRE free from Local Authority interference. The petition can be read and downloaded at:
The parents have also organised five meetings around the borough:
- Monday 21 May 2012: London Muslim Centre, 46 Whitechapel Rd, E1 1JX, when the petition will be launched, 7pm to 9pm
- Tuesday 22 May 2012: 55 Club, Manchester Rd, E14 3JF, 7.30pm to 9pm
- Wednesday 23 May 2012: Harford St Multicentre, 115 Harford St, E1 4FG, 6pm to 8pm
- Thursday 24 May 2012: Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, E3 3HJ, 7pm to 9pm
- Friday 25 May 2012: St Hilda's Community Centre, 18 Club Row, E2 7EY, 7pm to 9pm.
- Tower Hamlets Council of Mosques
- East London Mosque
- Da'watul Islam UK and Eire
- Association of Muslim Governors
- Muslim Teachers and Educators Committee
- SPUC's Safe at School campaign.
- Yusuf Patel, SREIslamic, mobile 07783 027067
- Antonia Tully, Safe at School, 020 84073463
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