Britain drops controversial sex-ed legislation from bill

.- The British parliament dropped clauses in an education bill that would have made it mandatory for Catholic schools to provide, among other things, “non-judgmental” information about abortion and contraception to students as part of a new sex education initiative.

The Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) initiative would have also have been required for children as young as five and would have forbidden parents from removing their children from sex education classes once they turned fifteen.

SRE was a part of the Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) measure, which will be dropped when the House of Lords passes the larger Children, Schools and Family Bill on April 8, according to numerous news reports.

The Telegraph reported on Wednesday that Conservatives within the House of Lords called the removal of PSHE from the larger bill a victory for common sense. If the bill had passed, conservatives said teachers in England would have been “swamped” with red tape.

Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, who heavily backed the PSHE legislation, expressed his disappointment in a letter to Michael Gove on April 7. Gove serves as the  Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and in that capacity develops Conservative legislative proposals.

“This is a very significant set back,” Balls wrote, “which will deny many young people proper and balanced sex and relationships education.”

John Smeaton, director for the U.K.-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) countered Ball's sentiment and blogged on Wednesday that the removal of SRE and PSHE regulations was a “huge pro-life victory.”

Opposition to the sex-ed legislation by Catholics throughout the England was made evident by a letter published in the Sunday Telegraph on March 28 which was signed by 640 concerned citizens, including several Catholic bishops and 300 clergy from various denominations denouncing the bill. Smeaton reprinted the letter, which was initiated by Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust, on his SPUC blog.

SRE and PSHE regulations had surprisingly garnered the support of the local Catholic Education Service (CES) who reportedly lobbied extensively to get the legislation passed.

When CES was contacted by CNA for a response to concerns that Catholic schools would be required to present opposing beliefs on abortion and homosexuality, staffers referred to an amendment to the SRE bill that said religious schools would be allowed to teach the material within a Catholic ethos.

But Smeaton read the support he garnered against the bills in a different light. “The massive support the letter has received from leading Catholics is yet further proof of just how out of touch the Catholic Education Service (CES) is with the concerns of the Catholics community in England and Wales,” he remarked.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: