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Sex education

May 2015

Paul Nuttall MEPChildren at primary schools are just not ready for sex education, the deputy leader of UKIP has said.

Paul Nuttall, spokesman for UKIP on education issues, responded to a question from a Guardian newspaper reader, and criticised a culture which exposes children to ‘things they’re not always developmentally ready for’.

He said he could see why some parents wanted their children to know these things, but added that not all children were ready for that. He also warned that children were being bombarded with sexualised imagery through the media.

His comments came a few weeks after a Scottish health board made a submission to the Scottish government, in which it warned that parents may pose a problem to the teaching of sex education in schools.

According to reports, the submission from the Dumfries and Galloway Health Board claimed that there may be campaigns by parents against the teaching of same-sex marriage and sex education in schools. It is reported to have said that ‘there is a need to protect programmes from activities of this sort’.

Earlier this year, a committee of MPs said children in all primary and secondary schools across England and Wales should be taught sex education. This drew strong criticism from Simon Calvert, deputy director for public affairs at the Christian Institute. 

He said that while some school children might need to receive basic information, it was ‘wrong for the committee to assume that all primary school children are ready for discussing the very adult issues of sex and relationships’.