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Christian MP presents bill giving parents the right to view sex education lesson plans and materials

by Kelly Valencia
Miriam Cates.jpg - Banner image

Christian Conservative MP Miriam Cates has introduced a bill giving parents in England the legal right to view materials used in schools to teach sex education to their children.

The proposed Private Member’s Bill would prevent schools from using unpublished materials in relationships and sex education (RSE) lessons if they are produced by a third-party provider.

The MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge’s bill was prompted by the case of Clare Page, 47, who lost a legal fight to see the sex education lesson plan used at her daughter's school.

The judge determined that the third-party provider's commercial interests held greater weight than the public interest in obtaining the material from the school.

A minority of Private Members' bills become law, but creating publicity around an issue may indirectly affect legislation.

Earlier this year, more than 50 MPs wrote to the Prime Minister raising concerns about the lessons, claiming children were being indoctrinated with radical and unsupported ideologies about sex and gender. Rishi Sunak launched an urgent review into sex education as a result.

Speaking before introducing her bill, Cates wrote on Twitter: “It is absurd to use a ‘commercial interest’ argument to stop parents – and the wider public – from viewing resources being paid for by the taxpayer. Copyright law exists to prevent people profiting from the work of others, not to avoid scrutiny.

“Schools send maths and history text books home, and members of the public can buy these books if they wish to scrutinise them. RSE includes highly sensitive & contested topics and it’s concerning that any school or sex education provider would want to hide what is being taught.

“The Bill would therefore ensure that any externally produced RSE resources are also available in the public domain and can be scrutinised. As with all private member’s bills, this is highly unlikely to become law. But I hope to persuade the Government to use its powers to make the transparency guidance statutory.”

The bill has been welcomed by Peter Williams, national director of the Family Education Trust and Peter Lynas, UK director of the Evangelical Alliance.


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