The British Humanist Association (BHA) has reacted to the news that the Catholic Education Service has claimed the credit for a Government amendment to the Children, Schools and Families Bill that will deprive children of their right to broad, balanced and objective Sex and Relationships Education. On their website, the CES has said that their lobbying produced the change of policy by Ed Balls.
Naomi Phillips, BHA Head of Public Affairs, said, ‘We know all too well that government pays disproportionate heed to vocal religious minorities in a great many areas of law and policy but when the effect of that is to deny vulnerable people – including children – their rights, it is particularly shameful. It is a disgrace that the position of the Government has become that students in community schools should receive comprehensive SRE, which will include objective teaching on issues such as contraception, abortion and safer sexual relationships, but those in Catholic and other religious schools should not be so entitled.’
‘The government’s policy is supposed to be that “every child matters” in relation to health and wellbeing, but the effect of their u-turn is that every child matters unless they happen to be a pupil at a religious school, even though such schools are almost entirely publicly funded.’
For further comment or information, contact Naomi Phillips, 07540 257101, 020 7079 3585.
The Catholic Education Service’s claim is found at www.cesew.org.uk/standardnews.asp?id=9190
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief. The BHA contributes to debate on a wide range of ethical issues from stem cell research to sex education. The BHA is a member of the National Children’s Bureau Sex Education Forum (SEF) and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.