Children 'to be given compulsory sex education from age four'
Sarah Harris, Daily Mail, UK, 05th July 2008
Nursery Charities have said children should be taught sex education from age four.
Children as young as four are set to be given compulsory sex education in primary school.
They will be taught the names of body parts and basic ideas about different relationships.
Government advisers claim that 'gradual education' from such a young age would help to stop children from rushing into sex when they are older.
They argue that the sex education that children receive in science classes does not go far enough.
But the recommendations caused a storm of protest yesterday, with family campaigners claiming that the views of parents and teachers are being ignored.
At present, primary heads and governors decide whether or not to provide sex education and what it should involve beyond the compulsory science requirements laid down by the national curriculum.
They must have a policy on whether or not they provide sex education. If they do provide it, usually in personal, social and health education (PSHE) classes, parents have the right to withdraw their children.
But the FPA - formerly the Family Planning Association - the sexual health advice service Brook and the Sex Education Forum are recommending the introduction of compulsory lessons. They are taking part in a Government review of Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) in primary and secondary schools.
The charities sit on a panel, which is currently examining
They have pre-empted publication of their final report later this month and publicly announced their recommendation for statutory sex education from primary school onwards. This would bring sex and relationship education on to the curriculum alongside other compulsory subjects such as maths and English.
Brook chief executive Simon Blake said:
Anna Martinez, head of the Sex Education Forum, confirmed they are recommending making PSHE statutory to give it
As the mother of a 12-year-old girl, I feel helpless rage at morally bankrupt 'sex education' that just encourages under-age flings
But Mr. Wells said there is no evidence to suggest that starting sex education at the age of four would reduce sexually transmitted infections and abortion rates among teenagers.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families insisted that no final decision has been made by ministers on the subject yet.