Freedom on Sex Education

Parents must have a role in deciding what sex and relationship education is appropriate for their children to be taught at school, an MP has warned.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said too often politicians want to ban things they do not like and make compulsory things they do like.

Speaking in the Commons during a question on sex education in schools he said: “What is wrong with the principle of freedom and parents having a role in deciding what is appropriate for their children to be taught?”

Mr Davies believes it is the role of parents to instil their values in their children and the “state cannot be parents in disguise.”

The comments came as Education Secretary Justine Greening said current guidance for sex and relationship education drafted in 2000 was outdated as the “world is a very different place”.

She said: “The role of parents and indeed parent involvement in making sure what children are taught at school is acceptable to them and appropriate is absolutely vital. I think the most important voices that need to be listened to now are the vices of young people and children themselves who are saying that they do not feel they are getting the right level of education they need in this area and they want to see a more up to date approach in enabling them to deal with the world they are growing up in.”

Ms Greening said she will update Parliament further in the Child and Social Work Bill but was considering renaming the subject Relationship and Sex Education.