Susan Mason, 3rd June 2020
The new law about Relationships and Sex education (RSE) comes into effect for all schools in England this September. Children from the age of four will be taught what schools think they should learn about sex, sexuality and gender dysphoria. While some schools act responsibly, this law has created an environment where children can be misled, confused and in some cases prematurely sexualised if a school decides to teach inappropriate content.
Serious issues have already arisen where schools have been teaching RSE early. For example, last month a mother in Hull was outraged at the pornography research and other sexuality homework her primary child was given.
Schools have been known to act unlawfully and push a problematic ideological agenda. The Educate and Celebrate programme is not neutral but aims to “smash heteronormativity” and the No Outsiders programme that has attracted so much Birmingham media attention is based on “queering the primary classroom”.
Some Head Teachers have refused to listen to parents’ concerns. In Heavers Farm Primary in Croydon children were expected to participate in LGBT Pride celebrations against parents’ wishes.
Even Local Authorities have caused problems. Warwickshire County Council has recommended schools use the All About Me programme which encourages masturbation for Infants children. It took the threat of legal action to make the council withdraw its recommendation of the programme.
The law says that parents are the primary educators for their children. There is, however, no right to withdraw from Relationships Education up to 16 years, and there is only a downgraded right to request withdrawal from Sex Education in secondary school. This is an unprecedented step to usurp the authority of parents by the nanny state.
Every school will choose how they will fulfil the requirements of the new RSE law, some using in-house resources and others using or adapting external programmes. Therefore, the only way a parent can know what their child will be taught is to ask.
Coming out of COVID-19 lockdown, the government’s wants to get some children back to school part-time from June. It’s unlikely though that schools will be back full-time until September at the earliest.
Even though the law requires that every school consult with parents on RSE policy, and samples of materials should be made available for inspection, the Department for Education is insisting that RSE still has its first teaching in September this year.
It is imperative, then, that parents take the initiative and, as a matter of urgency, ask when policy consultation will occur at their school, so the RSE curriculum can be developed with their input.
If you are a primary school parent or carer, please email your Headteacher, asking when your school will be engaging with parents on RSE policy. At the consultation, you can ask questions, look at samples of teaching materials and make sure you consider them appropriate for your child. If you aren’t a parent or carer, please play your part and let any parents or carers you know about this.
Below is a summary of some of your parental rights. The law is on your side.
DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION GUIDANCE (NOT LAW)
You have the right to write to your school requesting a consultation on RSE or asking to see the resources which will be used to teach it. This is some suggested wording for an email to the school to use if you would find this helpful (feel free to personalise as you want):
Dear [Headteacher Name]
I am the parent/grandparent/carer of [child’s name] in Year [R-6].
I understand that new relationships education (and sex education if it’s offered) will be taught in primary schools from September.
Could you please let me know when the school will be engaging with parents about the policy on this, as required by the government?
I am aware that we have very little time left before teaching needs to start and I’d like to see the materials you propose to use.
With best wishes,
[Parent etc. name]
Not all schools will teach bad RSE, but if you are not happy with the school’s response to your enquiry, you can get in contact with School Gate Campaign for advice at www.schoolgatecampaign.org.
School Gate Campaign