While parents cannot stop compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) being introduced into schools from September, they can campaign for greater transparency.

Education group The Values Foundation has raised a petition calling on the government to set up an RSE watchdog, ban political lobby groups from influencing RSE lessons and hold schools accountable for what they teach.

The petition, on the CitizenGO website, states: “At secondary level, the RSE curriculum is introducing children as young as 13 to pornography and explicit graphic sexual content where they are encouraged to experiment with and explore niche adult practices.”

Caroline Farrow at CitizenGO says: “Schools have a statutory duty to consult with parents and respect their religious and cultural values when deciding what kind of things should be taught, and yet this is not happening in many cases. Any parent who dares to object is portrayed as a (most likely religious) bigot!”

She adds: “Children are being indoctrinated into ideas about gender ideology that contradict the science curriculum and being exposed to explicit adult content which prematurely sexualises them.”

The petition can be signed at citizengo.org.

Meanwhile, the government faces a judicial review into the decision to ban parents from withdrawing their primary school children from Relationships Education, which will cover topics including LGBT issues, consent, and how to recognise abuse. In a letter to the government ahead of the judicial review, the campaign group Let Kids be Kids, set up by CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) founder Charlie Colchester, wrote that this breaches parents’ rights.

by Andrew Halloway