UK Mandates Sex Ed for All 15-Year-Olds

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UK Mandates Sex Ed for All 15-Year-Olds

Well, this is one way to handle the issue... Should be interesting to see how UK parents and faith groups respond.

Sex education is to be made compulsory for all pupils, prompting fury from faith groups which said that the move would contravene the right for children to be educated in accordance with their parents' beliefs.

All 15-year-olds must receive at least one year of sex and relationship lessons, Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said yesterday. Those whose religious or moral values prevent them from attending will be classed as truants and may be punished by the school. Until now parents could opt out of lessons about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and homosexuality until their children were 19.

Roman Catholic and Muslim groups said they would strongly oppose the move. Shahid Akmal, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain's education board, said he would challenge the laws, which he called an imposition. "It is always better for the parents to talk to children about sex rather than the school over which the parents have no control," he said.

The Catholic Education Service for England and Wales said it was "disappointed" that the "blanket right to withdrawal" had been removed.

The move is central to the Government's attempts to lower the teenage pregnancy rate, which rose for the first time since 2002, according to the latest figures. There were 41.9 conceptions per 1,000 15 to 17-year-olds in 2007, up from 40.9 the year before. England has the highest rates of teenage mothers in Western Europe.

Source: TimesOnline