Part of Rating and Valuation – in the House of Commons at 6:37 pm on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education) 6:37 pm, 20th March 2019

I beg to move,

That the draft Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019, which were laid before this House on 25 February, be approved.

The regulations represent an historic step that will equip children and young people with the knowledge they need to lead safe, healthy and happy lives.

The world children are growing up in has changed considerably since the sex and relationship guidance for schools was last updated in 2000. Thanks to the internet, children are encountering a more interconnected and interdependent world. That presents opportunities and advantages, but also risks, as children have greater exposure to information, content and people that can and do cause harm. That is why, during the passage of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, thanks to the work of my right hon. Friend Mrs Miller, my hon. Friend Fiona Bruce and other hon. Members, the Government introduced an amendment to that measure requiring the introduction of compulsory relationships education for all primary school pupils and compulsory relationships and sex education for all secondary school pupils.

Having listened to concerns about mental health, the impact of the online world and long-standing risks related to unhealthy lifestyles, we also decided to make health education compulsory in all state-funded schools.