Tuesday 17 July 2012

Mayor of Tower Hamlets to investigate explicit sex education programme in schools

The mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London has told parents that he will order an investigation into how £80,000 was spent on training and resources for an explicit sex and relationships education (SRE) programme for schools in the borough.

Representatives from Tower Hamlets Parents' Action Group on SRE presented a petition of over 10,000 signatures from local people to Mayor Luthfur Rahman. The petition calls upon the Council and  the Healthy Lives team to stop any further funding of the Christopher Winter Project, to recall all the resources currently in schools and to ensure that schools consult with parents about sex education. The programme is being used by 25% of the borough's primary schools who responded to a freedom of information request about sex education. (84% of Tower Hamlets primary schools completed the questionnaire.)

Picture: Mayor Luthfur Rahman (front row, 2nd from left) and concerned Tower Hamlets parents.

The mayor expressed his concern about the highly graphic content of the Christopher Winter Project and has agreed to meet with key local parents.

Antonia Tully of SPUC's Safe at School campaign has supported the parents throughout the campaign. At the invitation of the Tower Hamlets Parents' Action Group, she spoke at seven meetings in the borough in the weeks leading up to the petition presentation.

Picture: Antonia Tully of Safe at School (2nd from left); Dr Lisa Nolland (with petition-box), leading family issues expert; Emma Clarke (centre), parent-campaigner who travelled from Northampton; concerned parents (left and right).

Parents also called on Yusuf Patel of SREIslamic for support throughout the campaign. Mr Patel told parents about the nature of the Christopher Winter Project and the danger it poses to young children.

Later this week I'll be publishing a fuller report about the events in Tower Hamlets.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
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