Removal of curriculum reforms ‘catastrophic’ for young people

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed dismay at the dropping of vital curriculum reforms, including a Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) entitlement for all young people, from the Government’s Children, Schools and Families Bill. The BHA has described the changes, which will also mean the study of evolution in primary schools will stay off the curriculum, as catastrophic. 

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the BHA, stated, ‘For the first time in the history of the national curriculum the new primary curriculum would have included the study of evolution – a move that had huge support from scientists and teachers. It is deeply concerning that this most fundamental of biological concepts will now remain off the primary curriculum.’

Referring to PSHE, Mr Copson said, ‘Good SRE is known to reduce unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, as well as equip young people with the language and tools to be clear about personal boundaries, understand appropriate and inappropriate behaviour and know who to talk to when they need help. For older children it helps them resist pressure, make safe choices and challenge misleading and inappropriate messages about sex in the media. It makes a hugely significant contribution to young people’s health and well-being. There was massive support for its implementation from health professionals, teachers, parents and young people themselves. The loss of these subjects as core parts of the curriculum is catastrophic.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248596, 020 7079 3583.

The reformed primary curriculum also included a much-improved programme of learning for Religious Education, which was produced after wide consultation and collaboration with many religious, non-religious and professional groups, including the BHA, and the future of which is now also uncertain.

Read the Government’s statement on the Children, Schools and Families Bill  

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.