The final main day (report stage and third reading) in the House of Commons on the government's sex education bill has been announced for Tuesday 23 February. (The bill has yet to be debated in the House of Lords.)
What you need to know:
- The government's Children, Schools and Families bill would force all state schools to provide sex and relationships education (SRE) for all primary and secondary school pupils.
- The government want SRE to include signposting and links to abortion and other anti-life/anti-family services in schools, including faith schools.
- The bill would force schools to teach SRE according to principles of "equality", "diversity" and "rights".
- The government's draft SRE guidance interprets those principles to include abortion, birth control, homosexuality and "a wide range of sexual practices".
- Schools, if challenged, may well have to prove their SRE programmes accord with the bill's principles and that they had "regard" to the government's anti-life guidance.
- Faith schools may argue that they are entitled to protect their ethos, but the government has demanded that schools accept its sexual health agenda. The government says schools may adapt "the way things are taught", but it insists that all aspects of SRE will have to be delivered in all schools.
- Please contact your MP, asking him/her to oppose the bill. A Conservative amendment (amendment 2, tabled 5 Feb.) seeks to lessen the damage of the sex education proposals, so also please ask your MP to show his concern by signing this amendment (which will increase the chance of it being selected for debate) as well as opposing the Bill as a whole.
You can contact your MP by:
- email via http://www.spuc.org.uk/mps
- post to House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
- telephone via the parliamentary switchboard on (020) 7219 3000.
Please forward any replies you receive to SPUC by:
- email to email@example.com
- post to Paul Tully at SPUC HQ
- SPUC's leaflet "Government sex education: priming children for teenage sex and abortion?"
- SPUC's briefing on the government's draft SRE guidance
- SPUC's critique "Sexual health in schools"
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