Sex and Relationship Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th October 2018.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his oral statement of 19 July 2018, Official Report, column 615 on Relationships and Sex Education, to which case law he was referring when he said that a right for parents to withdraw their child up to 18 years of age is no longer compatible with English case law or the European convention on human rights.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

With regard to the parental right to withdraw their child from sex education, we have proposed regulations that are compatible with the law as it now stands. The case law in relation to a child’s competence to make their own decisions has evolved over time. This is shown, for example, in the 2006 case of R (Axon) v Secretary of State for Health.

The draft regulations and associated guidance are currently subject to consultation. They include our proposed approach to the right for children to be withdrawn from sex education. The consultation closes on 7 November, and can be accessed via this link: https://consult.education.gov.uk/pshe/relationships-education-rse-health-education/.

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