“SRE should be an entitlement for all children and young people.”
I think sometimes we get so bogged down in the “parental right of withdrawal from SRE” argument that we actually forget about the rights of the child to learn about their body, to learn how to protect themselves, to stay safe and to have happy and fulfilling relationships. Absolutely these things can and should be taught by both home and school. Yes parents have rights, but so too do their offspring. Young People are consistently complaining their SRE was “too little, too late, too biological” so there is a clear demand from young people to have their needs met with an entitlement to high quality age appropriate sex and relationships education written into the statute.
I often think those that are against the idea of sex and relationship education often confuse innocence with ignorance. Not telling my children about how their body works (in an age and stage appropriate way) would be remiss of me, in fact neglectful of me, as a parent. Children and young people are desperate to learn more about relationships, about their bodies about how babies are made and about things that are going to be coming up for them before they happen so they are prepared for them. We cannot deny them this right to knowledge and support their development into adulthood.
Currently all parents have a right of withdrawal from Sex Education apart from those aspects in the Science National Curriculum. I would argue that any parent withdrawing a child from SRE in schools (Less than 1% of parents) should be able to provide evidence that they are covering the necessary knowledge, skills & understanding at home.
It will be very interesting to see how the governments responds to this when the PSHE Review is published hopefully by the Autumn. I do hope they will listen and enshrine the entitlement for comprehensive SRE for our children and young people in law. Anything less is to do our young people another great disservice (like when PSHE failed to be made statutory in 2010).
What do you think?