Sex and Relationship Education

Department for Education written question – answered at on 10 April 2019.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for School Standards,of 20 March 2019, Official Report, column 1152 on the circumstances in which school leaders may disregard a parental request to withdraw a child from sex education, whether he plans to update the publication, Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education draft guidance to reflect those comments.

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

The draft guidance published on 25 February takes account of comments received through the public consultation and engagement with over 90 organisations, including on the right to withdraw from sex education.

The Department has no plans to make changes to the guidance published in February, except to the extent that minor corrections are necessary. The Department has committed, however, to publish a supplementary guide for schools to support them in delivering the subjects; this could include further advice on the right to withdraw if that proves necessary.

The regulations were debated in the House of Commons on 20 March and were overwhelmingly approved in a division. The Department expects the debate in the House of Lords to take place shortly. The Department is committed to conducting a review of the guidance three years after the new subjects become mandatory in September 2020, and every three years after that. The Department will also make changes sooner if there is a clear, pressing need.

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