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RELATIONSHIPS & SEX EDUCATION PART 2

Relationships & Sex Education Part 2

Relationships Education is intended to teach principles in the Education Act 2002, the Equality Act 2010 and the Children and Social Welfare Act 2017. The objective is to cultivate respect for others who may think or behave differently, especially in regard to the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act. It aims to teach about relationships including child safety. It is not intended to emphasise or promote LGBT issues, which are not central to the DfE Statutory Guidance. However, since it is up to individual schools and teachers to decide how and what is taught, the promotion of an LGBT agenda could be the outcome, either inadvertently or deliberately.

Some schools are choosing to use the “No Outsiders” material. The No Outsiders project was the brainchild of Andrew Moffat, assistant head teacher at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham. Mr Moffat created it to teach children about the Equality Act 2010 and British values. He also wanted pupils to “be proud of who they are while recognising and celebrating difference and diversity”. Ofsted is encouraging the use of the No Outsiders material.

The material as a whole seems generally acceptable though many individual lesson plans may be problematic for Latter-day Saints. This is a particular concern for the transgender topic, which may be introduced to children as young as five or six.  A critical issue is how it is taught and what emphasis is given. Some schools do not have a good track record of balanced teaching.

As stated before, the critical issue is how it is taught. Without sitting in on the lessons, there is no way of knowing. The Anderton Park and Parkfield School protestors feel that the lessons were actively promoting an LGBT lifestyle. The lessons may in fact have been perfectly acceptable and the protestors unreasonably sensitive. We just don’t know. In any case lessons will vary considerably from one school to another both in content and emphasis, since individual schools and teachers decide how and what is taught.

For this reason, parents would be wise to ask schools what their curriculum and teaching approach will be. Schools are supposed to consult with parents anyway, and publish their intentions.

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