A group of Christians have taken a stand against the mandatory...
Charlie Colchester explains why he's brought together a coalition of Christians and those of others faiths to challenge the Government over Sex and Relationships Education
We all know the new school year has started. But what most people don’t realise, is that with it has come a new curriculum, which runs the risk of sexualising an entire generation of children.
The controversial Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum came into effect in all schools in England on 1st September, and these compulsory changes mean parents no longer have the right to withdraw their children from teaching they may disagree with. For the first time in the education system, the ultimate decision as to what should be taught rests with the school, and parents will have no veto over sex or gender content, and no ability to withdraw their child from specific lessons.
Public awareness is still relatively low, the issues have not yet received widespread national visibility, with others writing it off as "scaremongering". But the reality is children are now being exposed to inappropriate content in the classroom and this legislation undermines parents’ prerogative to direct their children’s upbringing in accordance with their religious and philosophical beliefs, a fact which should concern everyone, including Christians.
So what are the specific changes?
- Relationships Education is now compulsory in all primary schools, and Health Education is compulsory in all primary and secondary schools. The Department for Education is encouraging the teaching of these new subjects to include content that amounts to sex education. But parents have no right to withdraw their children from these new subjects.
- Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is compulsory in all secondary schools. But, whereas parents did have an unqualified right to withdraw their children from sex education, parents’ rights to withdraw their children from RSE is significantly limited.
What does this mean for classroom content?
Many primary schools have already introduced teaching on sexual orientation and gender dysphoria to young children. The Government claims that young children need to be aware of life in modern Britain.
There have been reports of the Dice Game being used in schools. It is aimed at children from age 13 upwards and has highly sexualised and suggestive content (see here).
The new legislation also means that all schools (including faith schools) must teach directly on same sex marriage and civil partnerships, and attend to needs of homosexual and gender re-alignment pupils. The Guidance on Relationship and Sex Education says: "LGBT teaching should be fully integrated into the School and not taught as a stand-alone subject."
What can be done?
Realising that the Government had been left to freely impose the sexualisation of our children, we at the Let Kids be Kids Coalition (LKBKC) have been formed as a multi faith group to challenge the Government. We believe parents/guardians should have the right of withdrawal of their children from all Sex and Relationship Education that is contrary to their religious or philosophical beliefs. We think parents/guardians, who know their children best, should decide what is age appropriate Sex Education (including sexual content in RSE) at both primary and secondary school, rather than head teachers, who may have different agendas. And we want to provide appropriate educational provision for children to be protected from cyber abuse and cyber bullying for staying safe online, which was the initial reason RSE was brought in, but seems to have been lost in the ideological agenda of those controlling the system.
In 2011 the Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, campaigned against ‘the oversexualisation of children’. But now in 2020, a Conservative administration seems to have declared ‘open season’ on the sexualisation of children.
The government has rejected our most recent legal challenge and confirmed it intends to fully implement the curriculum. Furthermore, in their response to the legal challenge, the Department for Education threatened LKBKC with costs. Undeterred, we have now instructed international human rights barrister Paul Diamond to represent us, and have set up a website to encourage others to support us.
Proverbs 22:6 says "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it". Protecting children from inappropriate RSE content in the education system is vital for their future, and the future of this nation. We should all be concerned about it.
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