Schools: Gender and Political Impartiality

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th June 2021.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the of the compatibility of recent advice issued to schools by a campaigning organisation not to refer to children as (a) boys and (b) girls and the prohibition on political indoctrination in schools.

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

The Department trusts schools to make sensible and reasonable decisions to determine what is best for their pupils. It is important that schools take full responsibility for ensuring their teaching is age appropriate, suitable, and politically impartial, particularly when using materials produced by external organisations. The Department does not generally comment on external materials or advise schools on which specific resources to use. In September 2020, as part of the package of support for the implementation of Relationship, Sex and Health Education, the Department produced non-statutory guidance, which includes some general principles to help schools choose the right resources. This is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plan-your-relationships-sex-and-health-curriculum.

The law is clear that schools must remain politically impartial. Schools must not promote partisan political views and should ensure the balanced treatment of political issues. The Department is developing further guidance to support schools to understand and meet their duties in this area.

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