Thursday, 5 November 2009

The CES Caves In On Sex Education

The Government has decided to stop the right of parents to withdraw their children from sex education lessons from the age of 15.

Interestingly, the Children's Secretary, Ed Balls,

"...suggested with the age of consent being 16 and with young people being able to vote at 18, it did not make sense for parents to have control over whether their children attended sex education classes right up until the age of 19."

Perhaps it doesn't make sense to allow parental control up to the age of 19, but the Government are still happy enough for parents to be legally responsible for ensuring their children attend school until the age of 16 - with dire threats of legal action for non-attendance. The Government are also quite happy to insist that all young people will have to remain in compulsory education until the age of 18. And there is no mention of a 15 year-old's right to opt out of sex education classes...

The CES claim that they are "comforted in the knowledge that our schools and colleges will do an exceptional job in providing Sex and Relationships Education, set within the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Having had occasion to protest, as a teacher in a Catholic School, the sex education provision of that school, particularly with regard to school nurses giving such lessons, and having my protest dismissed by the CES, I am not comforted by this knowledge. The whole statement from the CES demonstrates that they have completely caved in to Government pressure.

CESEW response to proposals relating to Sex and Relationships Education and parental rights.

The Catholic Education Service for England and Wales (CESEW) believes that Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) is vital in the education of young people. It enables factual information from reliable sources to be communicated and misinformation from peers or street culture or exploitation to be avoided. The CESEW also recognises that Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) is rightly a sensitive issue. We continue to wholeheartedly support the belief that parents are the first educators of their children, as well as recognising the significant roles and responsibilities of governing bodies on these issues.

Whilst disappointed that legal encumbrances mean that a blanket right of withdrawal can no longer apply, we are pleased that the Government has recognised that the right of withdrawal in formative years is most critical and is therefore providing for the ability of parents to opt-out of SRE up to the age of 15.

CESEW will continue to firmly uphold the position that parental rights remain vital, particularly but not exclusively, in those most formative and critical years up until the age of 15.

As age and growing independence brings young people ever closer to pressures, advertising and coercion to behaviour which can undermine the healthy life of young people, we are comforted in the knowledge that our schools and colleges will do an exceptional job in providing Sex and Relationships Education, set within the teachings of the Catholic Church.


George said...

Hi Mac,

Having already written a comment on this issue on Fr Ray's Blog, I feel duty bound to repeat myself on The Mulier Fortis Blog, if I may.

The CESEW are a limp bunch and their final comment about 'feeling comforted' makes me see red! They write:

"we are comforted in the knowledge that our schools and colleges will do an exceptional job in providing Sex and Relationships Education, set within the teachings of the Catholic Church" -

To which I say, Oh really???!!!!

And when is the last time any of the CESEW people set foot in a grass roots Catholic School? 1930/1940 perhaps 1950?

While parents, some governors together with a handful of teachers fight on all fronts to uphold some semblance of a Moral Backbone in line with the Church's Magisterium so that our children can at least sense a difference between their Catholic School and the secular messages they are bombarded with from every angle in the great wide world, we are given no support by the CESEW or indeed our Bishops.

It is a lonely battlefield and the foot soldiers are weary.

Rather than lounging in their 'comfort zone' the CESEW should be donning their 12oz gloves and giving the Government merry hell for even daring to push their pornographic, sexualizing, homosex promoting and morally bankrupt Sex-Ed and Relationship policies on our children. It's nothing less than sexual abuse of minors!

Better still, can't the CESEW come up with solid Catholic programmes of their own. They could consult with the likes of Good Counsel Network, Family Life International and others who have years and years of experience in these delicate fields.

Come on CESEW earn your corn!

Kate said...

Hi Mac, fully agree with your post and following George's example, here's my comment on Fr. Ray Blake's post:

Ed Balls on Radio4 PM programme said that the Catholic church supported him on making all schools teach about contraception and on reducing the opt out to 15.
He also said that the CES was part of a group which recommended that sex and relationships education should be statutory. I have posted a link to the Radio4 podcast on my blog- the topic comes up at about 15.30 mins.

5/11/09 9:11 PM

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