The House of Lords has rejected an amendment to the Children and Families Bill brought by Labour, which would have made sex education compulsory.
If passed, the amendment to the Bill would have seen sex education compulsory across all state-funded primary schools in England and Wales, but it was rejected after debate by 209 to 142 votes.
Hailed as a victory by the Christian Institute, the vote came amid a campaign calling on education secretary Michael Gove to resist proposals that would have seen pornography presented in the classroom as part of sex education lessons.
One of the campaign signatories is pro-life David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, who backed a 22,000-signature petition to prohibit pornography from the classroom.
The petition was started by parent advocacy group Safe at School, which opposes calls from the Sex Education Forum (SEF) lobby group to teach pornography in sex education classes. The Department for Education has already tasked the SEF to help write guidelines for schools on how to teach pupils about pornography.
Antonia Tully, national co-ordinator of Safe at School, who together with Mr Amess presented the petition to the Secretary of State for Education in January, said she had serious concerns about the SEF.
She said, ‘The SEF has already produced suggestions and lesson ideas for teachers on how to teach children about pornography. These lessons are not about warning children and teenagers about the dangers of pornography. The SEF lessons are promoting pornography; encouraging children and teenagers to explore and embrace it’.
In January, Safe at School, along with 20 pro-family groups and individuals, including nine MPs, sent Michael Gove MP an open letter, calling on him to recognise that parents are the primary educators of their children on sexual matters.