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Education – Teaching about relationships

January 2018

The government has launched a call for evidence on how to teach ‘Relationships Education’ as a statutory subject in primary schools across England.

Under the proposed laws, ministers plan to deny parents the right to withdraw their children from such classes, claiming the new subject will focus on safety issues.

However, a cursory glance at the media coverage has shown that both liberal Sex Education Forum and equality campaigner Stonewall are prominent among those influencing the agenda, the Christian Institute has claimed.

A statement from Christian Institute read: ‘At a time when there is growing alarm at the sexualisation of children, this change could lead to the sex education industry, which promotes explicit materials, having much greater influence. Respect for other views must not be turned into code for “Celebrate LGBT lifestyles”, as this is a recipe for intolerance’.

The call for evidence will run until 12 February 2018. The Christian Institute has pledged to help churches and individuals form submissions to the additional public consultation. Also offering help with the consultation is charity and advocacy organisation CARE.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, commented: ‘Sadly, sex education programmes in our schools have failed. We have the highest rate of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases in Europe.

‘Ironically, a recent study has shown when government funding was cut for sex education programmes, the number of teenage pregnancies went down. We have created a highly sexualised culture that is not healthy for our children and young people. We are now living with the devastating consequences of that.

‘The government and lobby groups, with a highly liberal and indoctrinating agenda, tell us our children can be educated out of such sexualisation. More sex education has not worked up to now and will not work in the future’.