UK Schools May Be Asked Not To Teach Sex Education To Children Under Nine

UK Schools May Be Asked Not To Teach Sex Education To Children Under Nine

Critics have said that they don't find the UK government's recommendations to be in the best interests of children, arguing that they may lead to young people seeking information from less reliable sources.

Siksha MUpdated: Friday, May 17, 2024, 03:52 PM IST
article-image
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak | AP

There may be plans to ban sex education for children under nine in the UK, as per a BBC report.

UK PM Rishi Sunak has said that the government wants to ensure that children would not get exposed to "disturbing content".

According to a new statutory guidance for schools, material based on relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) has been compiled following concerns that children were being exposed to “inappropriate” content. The rules will be subject to a 9-week consultation before they are finalized.

Teaching unions in the UK have opposed the guidelines after they were leaked on Wednesday. They argued that if information is not readily available at school then children will turn to less trusted sources online, such as pornography.

What does the new guidance entail?

Schools in England will be asked not to teach sex education to children under the age of nine, under the proposals published by the government on Thursday, May 16. As per the recommendations, any explicit discussion of sexual activity should not take place before children are at least nine years of age.

The guidance also states that the concept of gender identity is “highly contested”, and therefore should not be taught.

The government has said that teaching gender identity “could prompt some children to start to question their gender when they may not have done so otherwise”.

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, UK Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan told MPs that gender identity “should not be taught in schools at any age”.

Where does sex education in primary schools in the UK stand currently?

As of now, relationship education is compulsory in all primary schools in England and relationships and sex education is compulsory in all secondary schools, under the 2020 relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

According to UK government guidelines, though, parents have a right to request that their child be withdrawn from sex education, but not from relationships education. If they wish, parents can ask their school for their child to be withdrawn from some or all of sex education lessons.

Banning sex education is not the answer, argue critics

Critics have argued that banning topics such as sex education and putting an age restriction on them is not the answer. They have called for supporting schools, training teachers, and taking an evidence-based approach to empower and protect children.

They have said that they don't find the UK government's recommendations to be in the best interests of children, arguing that they may lead to young people seeking information from less reliable sources. Furthermore, they also want children's voices, views, and experiences to be factored in.

RECENT STORIES

Rajasthan: 17-Year-Old IIT-JEE Aspirant From Bihar Commits Suicide In Kota; 11th Case Reported In...

Rajasthan: 17-Year-Old IIT-JEE Aspirant From Bihar Commits Suicide In Kota; 11th Case Reported In...

New Developments In The Philippines Regarding Indian Medical Students

New Developments In The Philippines Regarding Indian Medical Students

Report: Cambridge Bans 'Intimate Relationships' Between Teachers & Students

Report: Cambridge Bans 'Intimate Relationships' Between Teachers & Students

U.S. Mission India Hosts 8th Annual Student Visa Day

U.S. Mission India Hosts 8th Annual Student Visa Day

NEET-UG 2024 Row: Kapil Sibal Criticises PM Modi Over His Silence On Issues Of National Importance

NEET-UG 2024 Row: Kapil Sibal Criticises PM Modi Over His Silence On Issues Of National Importance