PRESS RELEASE: Government changes to Sex Education will downgrade marriage

Feb 25, 2019

The Government’s changes to sex education in England ignore the concerns of ordinary parents about the “age-appropriateness” of the new curriculum and will downgrade marriage, Coalition for Marriage (C4M) is warning.

The intervention by Britain’s largest pro-marriage group comes as the Secretary of State for Education, Damien Hinds, unveils the proposed changes to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), the first since 2000.

Mr Hinds claims new guidance is needed because the “world children are growing up in today is more complex”. The new lessons, taught to children as young as four, will be compulsory.

But C4M is asking for parents to continue to be able to decide when and how they introduce “controversial topics to their own children”.

“the plan to downgrade marriage – and sideline parents whilst doing it – is completely unacceptable”

Colin Hart, Chairman of C4M, commented: “No one objects to the Government trying to make children safer online by teaching them about internet trolls and about the dangers of social media, however, the plan to downgrade marriage – and sideline parents whilst doing it – is completely unacceptable.

“The Department for Education is sidelining traditional marriage, the most stable form of relationship for raising children and forcing them to learn about every other form of relationship under the sun, even when it is not age-appropriate. The law should encourage traditional marriage, not undermine it.”

The row over the changes follows protests outside Parkfield Community School in Birmingham. Parents have been campaigning against an LGBT pilot programme, which runs alongside the school’s RSE lessons, saying the content is not age-appropriate and that their concerns are being ignored because of political correctness.

“The law should encourage traditional marriage, not undermine it.”

Mr Hart continued: “There are two problems here. Firstly the age-appropriateness of the new material and secondly making these lessons compulsory, denying those with strongly-held religious or philosophical objections the right to withdraw their children from these classes; a right that has existed for decades. We hope that the Secretary of State will think again about imposing these lessons on all.”

Later today MPs are to debate a petition demanding parents retain the right to opt their child out of sex education classes in schools. The petition has been signed by more than 100,000 people.

The call for the Government to think again follows comments made by the head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, that young children must be told that some people prefer “not to get married to somebody of the opposite sex”.

The Government inspectorate has been accused of having an anti-religious bias and of being fixated with pushing LGBT rights at expense of traditional marriage.

Colin Hart concluded: “Unfortunately the Department for Education and Ofsted seem to believe that traditional marriage no longer matters. Their favoured curricula deliberately marginalises those who do not support political correctness for religious reasons, like the Muslim mothers in Birmingham. But even those keen to promote other forms of family life have been unable to deny that evidence shows that children do best when they are raised by their mother and father.

“It also ignores that marriage, the life long union between one man and one woman, despite all the rhetoric and spin is the most stable form of relationship. This is why rather than downgrading marriage we should doing more to celebrate its many societal and personal benefits.”