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HomePoliticsCaroline Lucas takes apart Tories sex education plan in one tweet

Caroline Lucas takes apart Tories sex education plan in one tweet

‘The worst kind of arm-chair politics, bigoted and ill-informed’

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has torn into the government’s new guidance for schools in England due to be published on Thursday, after details of the plan were leaked to the media.

A government source said the new guidelines for schools on relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) will include a ban on teaching sex education to children under nine, while ‘explicit’ discussions including on topics such as contraception won’t be allowed until age 13. 

Head teachers have challenged the introduction of new guidance for schools, with the head of a school in Rotherham, Pepe Di’Iasio, telling the BBC Today show that pupils are being used “as a political football”. The NAHT union for head teachers has previously said there is no evidence of a widespread problem with age-inappropriate materials. 

Caroline Lucas hit out at the leaked details of the new guidelines this morning, condemning the Tory Party for engaging in the “worst kind of arm-chair politics”. 

The MP for Brighton Pavillion wrote on X: “Politicising sex education is unforgivable, dangerous & reactionary. It’s always *age appropriate* to give young people skills to stay safe. For younger ones that means teaching about respect & healthy relationships. This is the worst kind of arm-chair politics bigoted & ill-informed.”

Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union said that, if the reports are correct, then “there are many areas of concern”. Kebede slammed the Tory agenda towards school policy as he called it “yet more culture war noise from an ill-informed and out of touch government.” 

He said the government appeared to be “seeding doubts” that school leaders and teachers are not already committed to providing education on sex and about positive relationships in an age-appropriate and phrase-appropriate way. 

“Schools need clear and constructive support about how to respond to the issues children and young people face, read about online and chat about in the playground,” Kebede said.

“Primary-aged children pick up information online and need the opportunity to discuss puberty and relationships and their bodies with trusted adults.

“Issues such as domestic violence can affect children from a young age and it is irresponsible to shut this conversation out until teenage years. We must also challenge widespread patterns like sexual bullying and homophobic bullying which start in primary, and all children must have the language to help them make disclosures where needed.”

The government has claimed the guidance will provide support for teachers and reassurance for parents.

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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