Government plans that will see compulsory sex education being taught to children as young as four have been deemed “abhorrent” by a Catholic charity.
The move to overhaul sex education in schools comes after a group of
23 Conservative MPs backed a change to the law that would see Sex and
Relationship Education made a compulsory part of the National
Under present legislation, sex education is compulsory in local-authority run schools but is limited to biology lessons.
Faith and free schools do not have to provide sex education under the current rulings.
The changes to the law will see pupils being taught about consent,
how to recognise abuse in relationships and how to protect themselves
from online grooming.
But Catholic charity Life has taken a cautious approach to the decision.
Life’s Education Director Anne Scanlan said: “We have to question
what the Government defines as sex education. If it is sex and
relationships education in which the emphasis is on relationships, the
teaching of self-esteem and self-respect, the avoidance of early
pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, then we would support its
But Scanlan also maintained that it should be left up to schools to
define the content of sex education classes and at what age children are
expected to take part in the lessons.
MPs backing the changes to the curriculum argue that failure to teach
sex education in school can lead to “young people developing a sense
that sexual harassment and sexual violence are acceptable behaviours and
learning social norms that are carried through to adult life.”
A No 10 spokesman said: “The department will be saying more than this
in due course. High quality relationship and sex education is an
important part of preparing young people for adult life.”