Does the characteristic of sex develop over time? Should children be taught a consent focused sexuality education without reference to the law? Should the curriculum be strongly influenced by LGBTQ+ diversity teaching?
As the Welsh government moves ahead to prioritise Relationships and Sexuality Education in all its schools, Welsh parents, teachers and members of the community need to act. The Welsh RSE Code, which will be required to be adhered to by all schools, is currently being consulted on. The opportunity to contribute to the consultation on the RSE Code ends soon.
The ending of the feedback and consultation window has been confusingly communicated as being two different dates; either 12 July or 16 July. We encourage you to submit before 12 July.
This code is likely to be being rolled out next academic year. The consultation documents can be found here. The consultation response questions found here.
You can also read our response to the consultation.
The RSE Code has statements such as:
“learners should be supported to understand how aspects…including…sex, develop and change over time.” (Strand 1)
This confusing trans-ideology, that even sex itself can develop over time, could form statutory advice to schools and could be taught in contravention of the Science curriculum, where sex is rightly taught as a biological fact related to chromosomes. Accurate definitions of sex need to be included for children in any sexuality education.
The RSE Code has many references to LGBTQ+ inclusion, and parents should raise whatever concerns they have about the inappropriateness of this emphasis at the various ages and stages of their children. Again, the statement on p13 is problematic:
“Gradually learners should be supported to understand how aspects of identity and individuality, including LGBTQ+ diversity, sex, gender and sexuality, develop and change over time.”
This targets those delivering curriculum towards certain ends, and does not take account or reference, that there are other views. The code should identify at this point in the document, that in other communities, such as those with traditional Christian beliefs, differing views are held which should equally be considered worthy of respect by all ages, whether they change over time or not.
In Strand 2, it is clearly not appropriate to consistently avoid explaining the unlawful nature of sexual activity between children, and to have such a consent focused approach. And yet this is totally absent! It is not appropriate to set a context where consent teaching and general explanations are given outside an understanding that sexual activity between children, or for anyone under 16, is something which the law does not allow or encourage. This raises significant safeguarding issues which contributors should comment on.
A specific recommendation would be that an addition should be made to the following statement:
“Knowledge and understanding that there can be both intended and unintended outcomes of having sexual experiences including offline and online.”
What should be added is, ‘and that sexual activity for a child under the age of 16 is unlawful’. The current statements have clear assumptions that children will, and even should, be engaging in illegal behaviour without highlighting that it is outside of the law. When else would this kind of teaching be deemed appropriate with children regarding risky behaviour? Would we offer a consent-based approach to illegal drug-taking? No.
Finally, it is worth pushing back against the clear attitude within the advice that a pluralistic view of acceptance and celebration of all difference is what all children themselves, should be taught to defend. This is political indoctrination of a pluralistic idealism. Being taught the following is inappropriate:
“An understanding of how social and cultural norms shape feelings about body image, behaviour and health and strategies to counteract.” (Strand 1)
This assumes a negative about all social and cultural norms. Here the framework clearly promotes to children under 16 that societal and cultural norms could never be positive, as they must be counteracted from a worldview perspective of an increasingly pluralistic celebration of all sexual difference. It should not be mandatory, as p13 specifies, to “speak in defence of others” without also teaching them how to tactfully and respectfully speak against the views of others where their view may differ.
Indeed, if you choose to respond to the consultation, you will be exercising this right to speak freely in your non-defence, and your non-agreement with a ‘progressive’ trend to counteract traditional cultural norms of sexuality and marriage.
Ways To Respond
Should you be willing to give a response by 12 July, do not feel you need to answer every question. There is a catch all question at the very end (Question 10), where you can put down your thoughts based on this article.
Questions 1-3 ask if aspects of the document are stated clearly, and questions 8 & 9 are about the Welsh language.
The key questions are 4-7, which ask what is ‘important’ for different ages to learn (Q4), what is ‘appropriate’ (Q5), what should be ‘mandatory’ (Q6), and what is ‘relevant’ for shaping curriculum (Q7). In your own words explain from the advice given above why you believe what is included is not important (or misses what is important), not appropriate, should not be mandatory, or does not include what is relevant.
We especially recommend making regular references to:
- the lack of teaching that it is illegal and harmful for children to be engaging in any sexual activity
- the dangers of a consent-based approach
- the focus on defending a political and progressive view of relationships and counteracting social and cultural norms
- the confusion regarding sex being considered as something which changes, in conflict with the science curriculum
The Lord encourages us to speak up for the young and vulnerable.
Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.” (CEB)
We are blessed with the opportunity to use consultations as an opportunity to speak. We do not want children to be led into immoral and unlawful sexual behaviour, and must do all we can to prevent schools from encouraging this. We must protect them.
This code is likely to be rolled out next academic year. The consultation documents can be found here. The consultation response questions found here.
If you are involved in Education, please look at our excellent online teachers and educators conference with Canon J John, from 29 October to 30 October. Book your place today!