Relationships and Sex Education (DoE) Consulation Response

 
The Department of Education sought views on the draft regulations, statutory guidance, and regulatory impact assessment relating to Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education. The inquiry open in July 2018 with deadlines for responses by 7th November 2018.  Muslim Women’s Network UK responded to the consultation and our response can be downloaded here.

Some key concerns / recommendation included are:

1) There seems to be a denial by those who oppose this type of education about the lived realities of young British Muslims (and British Asians more broadly). There seems to be an assumptions made by parents that simply because of their faith or culture (or the faith or culture of their families), that children will not be entering into relationships (sexual or otherwise). We feel that RE/RSE/HE subjects are therefore especially important for pupils, especially secondary school pupils.

2) Parents of particular backgrounds are unlikely to discuss topics relating to healthy and unhealthy relationships, consent, choice, abortions or sexually transmitted infections, nor are they likely to be the ones to discuss sexual exploitation or revenge-porn. This therefore makes RE/RSE/HE that much more crucial for children because this may be the only opportunity to provide them with the requisite knowledge, information and advice to allow them to grow as individuals and remain protected from harm and abuse.

3) By allowing parents to have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of the proposed education may be counter-productive and contradictory to the aims of introducing these subjects in the first place.

4) We are concerned that by teaching pupils to respect those in authority, they may be essentially taught to comply with their abusers. It is vital that pupils are also taught that even those in positions of authority must act in an appropriate manner and that there is absolutely nothing wrong in disagreeing or challenging those in authority if their behaviour or actions are unacceptable or feel unacceptable.

 
 

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