To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
(1) what estimate he has made of the number of parents who opted their children out of personal social and health education in the latest period for which figures are available;
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of schools which did not include sex and relationships education in their personal social and health education curriculum in the latest period for which figures are available;
(3) how many (a) school nurses and (b) school nurses who teach sex and relationships education in schools there were in the latest period for which figures are available.
The Department does not collect data on the number of pupils withdrawn from personal, social and health education (PSHE). However, Ofsted's survey on SRE published in 2002 found that only 0.04 per cent. of pupils were withdrawn from the non-statutory aspects of SRE normally delivered through PSHE.
Similarly, the Department does not collect data or the number of schools who include SRE within PSHE, but departmental guidance on SRE (DfES, 2000) makes clear that schools should embed SRE within their programmes for PSHE.
In 2006 there were 1,129 school nurses with a school nurse qualification (an increase of 31.9 per cent. since 2004). Their involvement in the delivery of SRE is a decision for primary care trusts and individual schools. The Department recognises the unique contribution that school nurses make to SRE and encourages all those involved in classroom delivery to undertake the National PSHE: Continuing Professional Development Programme. This accredited programme supports standards in the delivery of PSHE teaching including sex and relationships education.