Rishi Sunak is under pressure from almost 70 Conservative MPs to give schools a legal duty to publish materials used in sex education lessons, following a ruling by a judge that they did not have to for commercial reasons. The judge made that ruling despite Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, writing to all schools to say that “parents should be able to view all curriculum materials”, including “where an external agency advises schools that their materials cannot be shared due to restrictions in commercial law”. The Telegraph has the story.
The MPs are backing a “sex education transparency” Private Members’ Bill introduced by Miriam Cates, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, that would force schools to share with parents copies of materials used in lessons.
The legislation would also ban schools in England from using externally produced teaching resources for relationships and sex education lessons that have not been published.
The Prime Minister addressed the issue at the Conservative conference when he said “it shouldn’t be controversial for parents to know what their children are being taught in school about relationships”. But he has not said how he will make schools share materials with parents.
Mrs Cates introduced the Bill after Clare Page, a parental campaigner, lost a legal battle to see the sex education plan at her daughter’s school. She has been fighting to obtain a copy of the materials since her 15-year-old daughter came home from school two years ago and said she had been taught that “heteronormativity” was “bad” and that she should be “sex positive” towards relationships.