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9 April 2010

UK: Sex education reforms shelved

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families has been forced to drop key reforms to sex education in schools.

Ed Balls confirmed that the controversial plan was among the measures being shelved in order to push through legislation before parliament is dissolved for the general election.

A guarantee of one-to-one tuition for pupils who fall behind in English and maths is also being removed from the Children, Schools and Families Bill, along with moves to beef up parenting orders.

In a letter to his Conservative shadow Michael Gove, Mr Balls wrote:

‘I am especially disappointed that, despite our conversation, you could not agree to make Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE) statutory in all state-funded schools.

‘There is now widespread agreement that statutory PSHE is essential to prepare young people for adult life, and our reforms would ensure that by reducing the age of parental opt-out to 15, all children receive at least one year of compulsory sex and relationship education (SRE).

‘This is a very significant setback, which will deny many young people proper and balanced sex and relationships education.’

Sex education reforms dropped. Press Association, 7 April 2010

Also read:

UK: Sex education controversy continues. Abortion Review, 24 February 2010.