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Sex and Relationships Education

The UK and Welsh Government investigate Sex and Relationships Education policy

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The news comes after the British Humanist Association (BHA) yesterday identified 46 such schools recreating the law which stated that local authorities ‘shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality’, or otherwise believing the law to still be in force – despite its repeal in 2003.

The ministers were “concerned” about the disclosures, following research from the British Humanist Association, which campaigns against faith schools.

It comes amid international controversy over a law passed in the Russian parliament banning the promotion of homosexuality, an issue which Stephen Fry, the broadcaster, recently raised with David Cameron.

Section 28, introduced by the Thatcher Government, was a clause in the Local Government Act 1988 which forbade councils from allowing teaching which promoted the “acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. 

In 2008 the Labour Government proposed to put Sex and Relationships Education – as part of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education – on the national curriculum, and gained cross-party support for doing so. However, the plans were scrapped after they were not passed before the 2010 election. In 2011, the Coalition Government announced it would do a review of PSHE, but in March announced that it was not intending to change anything at all. As a result, the 2000 guidance on SRE remains in force. Tony Blair in 2003, with support from Conservatives.

BBC Radio 5 live´s Chris Warburton spoke to Stonewall´s head of education, Wes Streeting, and Conservative MP Graham Stuart, Chairman of the Education Select Committee.

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