Prime Minister asked to commission independent inquiry into the teaching of RSHE in schools
I recently presented the Prime Minister with a dossier of evidence on the nature and extent of indoctrination in relationship and sex education in UK classrooms.
The new RSHE framework, introduced just over three years ago, has seen a rise in deeply questionable material being used in schools.
The dossier also highlights the widespread use of unregulated providers, some with highly politicised agendas, who are being allowed to introduce materials that go far beyond fact. Many of these providers hiding behind copyright to stop parents seeing what is being taught.
There is a need for good quality sex education in schools - where children are safely taught the biological facts, the law and how to keep themselves safe. But it is not right that in some cases the teaching of this subject moves away from this and into a more politicised ideological approach.
This blurring of boundaries, confusing law, fact and ideology has led me to conclude that we now need an independent inquiry into the nature and extent of this problem. And, given that it is the DfE guidance that is confusing, even conflicting within itself, I'd argue that it cannot be the DfE that undertakes any review into this matter.
Prime Ministers' Questions | March 2023
"Graphic lessons on oral sex, how to choke your partner safely and 72 genders—this is what passes for relationships and sex education in British schools. Across the country, children are being subjected to lessons that are age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualising and inaccurate, often using resources from unregulated organisations that are actively campaigning to undermine parents. This is not a victory for equality; it is a catastrophe for childhood. Will my right hon. Friend honour his commitment to end inappropriate sex education by commissioning an independent inquiry into the nature and extent of this safeguarding scandal?" Miriam Cates MP
Whilst I was pleased at the Prime Ministers' response in which he committed to bring forward a review of RSHE statutory guidance, I will keep pressing for an independent inquiry into this matter.
"I share my hon. Friend’s concerns and thank her for her work in this area. That is why I have asked the Department for Education to ensure that schools are not teaching inappropriate or contested content in relationships, sex and health education. Our priority should always be the safety and wellbeing of children. Schools should also make curriculum content and materials available to parents. As a result of all this, we are bringing forward a review of RSHE statutory guidance and will start our consultation as soon as possible."