Row in UK over compulsory sex classes for aged 5: Report
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 05, 2009, 17:15
London: A plan by the UK government for compulsory sex and drugs education for school children as young as five has sparked an outcry, with parents' saying it was "infringing" their rights.

Personal, social and health education will be a new subject on the British national curriculum from the age of five, with school children forced to take sex and drugs education at under reforms announced today, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.

A large percentage of parents and adults thought parents should retain the right to keep their children out of sex education classes up to the age of 16.

Margaret Morrissey, from campaign group Parents Outloud, condemned the government for "infringing parents' rights". She said the government should leave families to bring up their children.

Presently, parents have a right to withdraw children from classes on sex and relationships on moral grounds until the age of 16. The government seeks to reduce it to 15, meaning all children will receive at least one year of sex education before they are legally allowed to leave compulsory education, according to the British tabloid.

It said the government plan under the latest reforms could cause problems for Catholic schools, which may be forced to educate pupils about homosexuality and contraception, which have been opposed by the Roman Church.

Under the plans, children as young as five will learn about body parts and differences between boys and girls. In secondary school, pupils will study sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, marriage and civil partnerships, the report said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, November 05, 2009, 17:15

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