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UK Gov’t Report Shows Schools Not Talking to Parents about Sex Ed

Tue Jul 27, 2010 - 12:15 pm EST

By John Jalsevac

July 26, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) –  A recent report from the UK’s Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted), has indicated that in many cases schools are not consulting with parents about sex education lessons.

The study, which analyzed how personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is being implemented throughout the UK said that three quarters of UK schools are giving an adequate treatment of the subjects involved, but identified “weaker areas,” including sex and relationship education, and drugs and mental health education.

The officials charged with drafting the report said that, “In the schools visited, parents were rarely involved with or consulted about PSHE education.”

British schools, said the authors, “need to ensure good communication with parents about the content and timing of lessons on sex and relationships.”

The need for conscientious parents to be involved in their child’s education was highlighted even further by the report's definition of “outstanding” sex ed: this included when students were able to demonstrate “a secure knowledge and understanding about contraception” and were “able to identify and discuss relationships,” including same-sex relationships.

The authors also expressed concern that much of the information that children are receiving about sex is coming from TV, movies, and other media, concluding that “This highlights the need for sex and relationships education in schools." Other commentators are also invoking the report's findings as proof of the need for standardized, compulsory sex education lessons throughout Britain.

Under the former Labor government, a bill had been proposed that would have done just that.  However, the highly controversial Children, Schools and Families Bill, which would have required even religious schools to teach students about abortion, contraception and gay relationships in a values-free manner, was scuttled in April. 

Pro-family leaders, who were virulently opposed to the Labor government’s bill, have repeatedly said that many of the problems regarding teens and sex in the U.K. stem simply from the fact that explicit sex ed – let alone sex ed that paints homosexuality, contraception and abortion as normal and healthy - is being taught in schools in the first place.

While the UK government has responded to soaring teen pregnancy and abortion rates by implementing ever-more explicit sex education, critics have said that the time has come to put sexual formation back into the hands of parents and families.

In a report on the Ofsted study, the Christian Institute, one of the UK’s leading Christian public policy institutes, referred readers to a letter published in March of this year opposing the Labor bill and reminding the government that “Parents and guardians have the primary responsibility for bringing up their children in accordance with their own values and culture.” The letter was signed by over 2,000 individuals, including the leader of the Christian Institute and many head teachers and faith leaders.  

While parents and guardians “may entrust the task of formal education to a school of their choice," said the leaders, "the overall responsibility for the upbringing of their children remains theirs.”

“A state which seeks to centralise responsibilities which are properly fulfilled by families is acting in an unjust manner and undermines the basis of a free society," the letter concluded.

 Find a full listing of LifeSiteNews' coverage of the Ontario government's explicit sex-ed program here


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