Wednesday 18 February 2015

Department for Education promotes “traffic light” tool that condones under-age sex

In a fact-packed January bulletin, the excellent Family Education Trust carries a compelling story on its front page showing how guidance backed by the Department for Education is encouraging unlawful sexual activity. (The Family Education Trust is a charity committed to researching the causes and consequences of family breakdown and promoting the welfare of children and young people.)

The UK law is clear that sexual activity under the age of 16 is unlawful. Nevertheless, the Department for Education has funded[1] and recommended as a useful resource a Brook “traffic light” system that condones underage sex. The system has been adopted by at least one County Council[2]. (Brook Advisory Service is one of Britain's leading abortion referral organisations, specialising in advising young people - including those under 16 - about abortion, sex, STIs etc). 

The traffic light system is not distributed to young people but is intended to “inform” teachers and other professionals working with children and young people.

The tool identifies green, amber and red behaviours. Green behaviours – according to Brook – “reflect safe and healthy sexual development”[3], and “provide opportunities to give positive feedback”. Those behaviours include “consenting oral and/or penetrative sex with others of the same or opposite gender who are of similar age and developmental ability” – even where those engaged in the activities are in the 13-15 age group.

Activities classified as amber rather than red include “following others into toilets or changing rooms to look at them or touch them” and “pulling other children’s pants down/skirts up/trousers down against their will”. These behaviours, according to Brook, merely “have the potential”[4] to be unsafe and unhealthy behaviour.

Brook have denied that the tool condones any particular sexual behaviours, but Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, comments that “if giving positive feedback to sexually active children aged 13, 14 and 15 isn’t condoning and encouraging underage sex, then I don’t know what is!”.

If you are concerned about what is happening in schools in the name of sex education, please contact SPUC at to find out how you can challenge parliamentary candidates in the forthcoming general election on this issue and on other vital pro-life issues.

[1] The funding is confirmed at
[2] Cornwall County Council – March 2014 – see
[3] See
[4] See

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