Relationship Education in Schools

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 16th July 2019.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education) 12:39 pm, 16th July 2019

No Government have ever specified that level of detail in respect of sex education, let alone relationship education. It has always been—and must remain—for headteachers and schools to decide what is appropriate for their pupils, when it is age-appropriate, and so on.

We have issued clear guidance. The Secretary of State and I have said that we strongly encourage primary schools to teach children about LGBT relationships, because there will be pupils in primary schools who have two mothers and two fathers and it is important for the other children to respect that, but ultimately such matters must be for headteachers to decide. As I have said, I do not believe that had we been prescriptive—more prescriptive than the wording of paragraph 37—we would have secured consensus among major school providers in both the state and the private sector, and I do not believe that being more prescriptive would have prevented anyone from protesting against something with which they fundamentally disagree.