As there seems to be some confusion over the attitude of the heirarchy to this issue it might useful to contact Bishop McMahon, or at least his secretary, to ask, respectfully, why the Catholic Education Service spokesperson Oona Stannard gives the impression they support this legislation.
What does the bill propose?
• the Bill would make sex and relationships education (within Personal, Social, Health and Economic education [PSHE]) a statutory part of the national curriculum. This would mean that parents and governing bodies of local schools would lose discretion over how the subject is taught in schools and, for the first time, primary schools would be legally obliged to provide sex and relationships education from the age of five.What might the supplementary guidance comprise?
• the Bill would remove from parents the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationship lessons once their children reach the age of 15. Parents are currently able to withdraw their children from sex education classes throughout the years of their compulsory education.
• Implementation of the Bill’s requirements and supplementary legislation on PSHE (including sex and relationships education) would be the responsibility of the head teacher and governing body
• Further guidance on PSHE to which head teachers and the governing body must have regard may be added by the Secretary of State and those nominated by him. [seems to be a virtual carte blanche]
On Monday 25 January 2010 the Department for Children, Schools and Families issued its draft Sex and Relationships Education Guidance
The draft Sex and Relationships Education Guidance (SRE) states:
• SRE should promote awareness, respect [emphasis mine] and understanding for the wide range of practices and beliefs relating to sex and relationships within our society.
• at key stage 2 (ages 8 to 11) Pupils should be taught to ask themselves:
"What is ... homophobic bullying and what skills do I need to do something about it?"
Pupils should also be able to answer the question:
"How does the sperm and egg meet during sexual intercourse and can conception be prevented?"
• at key stage 3 (ages 11 to 14) pupils should be taught via "the clarification of personal values". [relativism] Pupils will be taught to answer:
"What are sexually transmitted infections, how are they transmitted, treated, tested and prevented (including condoms)?"
"What choices does a woman have if she gets pregnant, including keeping the baby, abortion and adoption?"
"What are the different types of contraception including emergency contraception and how are these used?"
"What can I expect from contraception and sexual health services and where and when are these services available?"
• at key stage 4 (ages 15 and 16), pupils will be taught how to answer:
"What are the features of different methods of contraception and what protection do they offer in terms of STIs and pregnancy?"
"Is responsibility for contraception and protection shared in relationships and how can responsibility be negotiated?"
"How can I contribute to challenging ...homophobia ...?"