By Hilary White

LONDON, November 10, 2009 ( – The British Labour government has announced that parents will have no right to remove their children over the age of 15 from explicit “sex education” programs in schools.

Under new plans put in place by the government, sex education will be implemented starting at the age of 5 throughout the education system, including in religious schools. However, Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, has issued a ministerial statement saying that all children need to receive at least one year of sex education as teenagers before the age of consent at 16 – meaning that parents will lose the right to opt-out for children over 15. 

Under the new sex education rules, Catholic and other religious schools will be forced to teach children about contraception and homosexuality “within the tenets of their faith,” a caveat that Daily Telegraph columnist Gerald Warner called “simply a cynical method of enforcing anti-Christian values on faith schools.”

Balls said in the announcement that religious schools would be forced to give details about sex, contraception and homosexuality. Balls said, “You can teach the promotion of marriage, you can teach that you shouldn't have sex outside of marriage, what you can't do is deny young people information about contraception outside of marriage.”

“The same arises in homosexuality,” he added. “Some faiths have a view about what in religious terms is right and wrong – what they can't do though is not teach the importance of tolerance.”

Until this change, parents had the right to withdraw their children from sex education under the 1996 Education Act. This summer the Family Planning Association (FPA), a key player in creating the new directive, issued a demand to government that parents' right to remove children from classes be revoked. FPA is the national affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world's largest pro-abortion organization. The government granted the demand despite the fact that their own public consultation found that nearly 80 per cent of respondents believed parents should retain the right to withdraw their children at any age.

Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said the plan was just a means of increasing government control in its determination to “deliver its anti-life policies to children.”

The Christian Institute's Mike Judge called the move a “terrible intrusion of the right of parents. The government isn't responsible for educating children, parents are. Parent's don't lose that right on their children's fifteenth birthday.”

“There can't be a teenager left in Britain that doesn't know how to roll on a condom,” Judge told the BBC. “Sex education has been a disaster. We need less of it, not more of it.”

But despite a steady chorus of protest from parents and religious organizations and the mounting evidence of the failure of such programs, the push to introduce very young children to the intricacies of human sexuality has been under way from Britain's abortion and contraceptive lobbyists for decades, and is only intensifying.

Read related LSN coverage:

UK Study Reveals Reproductive Health Clinics for Teens Increases STD and Out-of-Wedlock Births

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