Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Catholic Education Service at the service of whom?

Driving home tonight, I caught some of Radio4's PM news programme in which changes to sex education in schools in England were announced. The main differences seem to be that sex and relationships education will now become mandatory in  schools including 'faith' schools and the parental right to 'opt out' of such lessons will be weakened by establishing a child age limit of 15 years beyond which there is no opt out.
Ed Balls, Education Secretary was asked on the programme:

"....but isn't it true that you're going to make all schools including faith schools teach about contraception, whether they approve of contraception or not?"
Ed Balls:  " Yes and that's been supported today by both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church who I work with very closely on this, and who are also supporting me today on the opt out going down to 15.

Ed Balls also stated:
"The Catholic Education Service was part of a group which recommended to me that we should make this statutory, that we do have sex and relationships education for all children and young people, in all our schools, with parental opt out which I am reducing today with the support of the vast majority of faith schools."

Here is a link to todays PM podcast, which I think will stand for seven days.The topic comes up at about 15.30 mins.
Update:  See also John Smeaton's perceptive post 'Compulsive sex ed is Govt. exploitation of schools' which  also has a link for SPUC's excellent critique of government sexual health interventions for schools.

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