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Welsh parents set to lose opt-out from sex education

3 October 2019

Welsh parents seem set to lose the right to withdraw their children from sex education at both primary and secondary school after Education Minister Kirsty Williams said she is “minded to ensure all children and young people are required to study RE and RSE in the new curriculum.”

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation seeking views on plans to entirely remove the ability of parents to opt children aged 3-16 out of ‘Relationships and Sexuality Education’, which will be introduced in 2022, as well as from Religious Education, which is proposed to be renamed ‘Religion and Worldviews’.

A consultation on this issue has in fact already taken place this year, with 89% of respondents supporting parental rights to withdraw from RSE and RE.

Commenting, CARE’s Family Policy Officer Jonathan Williams said:

“This radical proposal to force all children aged 3-16 into sexuality and relationships education is totally at odds with parents’ role as the primary educators of their children on these sensitive moral issues.

These proposals may well end up reducing parents’ trust in their schools, taking away from them an important safety valve in the unlikely situation that a school adopts a radical and ideological approach to sex education.

The Welsh Government’s approach is misguided and sets parents and schools against one another, rather than encouraging positive engagement between these groups.

Given the almost 90% of respondents to a recent consultation who opposed these proposals, it is entirely unclear why the Welsh Government is pushing ahead with this consultation.”

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