Welsh parents will no longer be able to remove children from sex ed classes

As reported by the BBC, new Welsh Government plans will make sex education classes compulsory

As well as making sex education classes compulsory, education minister Kirsty Williams said she was also considering abolishing the right to remove children from religious education lessons.

The plan will be put to an eight-week consultation.

In a previous consultation, 89% of respondents backed the right of parents to take children out of the classes.

However, Williams said it had always been an “anomaly” that pupils could be withdrawn from certain subjects.

The proposed measure will be brought in along with the new curriculum, which will be introduced in primary schools and the first year of secondary in 2022, before being rolled out up to 16-year-olds in 2026.

The Welsh government is also proposing to change the name of religious education to “religions and world views” to include non-religious perspectives.

The revised approach for relationships and sexuality education (RSE) will be “fully inclusive of all genders and sexualities and meets the needs of LGBTQI+ learners”, Williams said.

Williams said all teaching would be developmentally appropriate and parents would be kept informed about what they were learning.

“I am minded to ensure all pupils study RE and RSE in the new curriculum, just as they will study science, maths and languages,” she said.

“Children should be provided with access to information that keeps them safe from harm and allows them to navigate the world in which we live…

“It must be easy for parents to engage in dialogue with schools about this and other parts of the curriculum.”

Sian Rees, director of the Evangelical Alliance in Wales, said they wanted parents to retain the right to take their children out of RSE lessons.

“We believe that age isn’t an indication of maturity and that these conversations are conversations that should perhaps be occurring within the home,” she said.

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“The [new curriculum] framework as it stands is very vague. We would ask the minister to provide more clarity and explanation as to what exactly she would like teachers to cover.”

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