The BHA has given its backing to a new ’10 minute rule bill’ that would make sex and relationships education (SRE) a statutory entitlement for all pupils in state-funded schools.
Chris Bryant MP’s Sex and Relationship Education Bill will be debated by MPs on Wednesday 8th September. The BHA is working with Mr Bryant to raise the profile of the Bill and has briefed MPs ahead its introduction to the Commons. Mr Bryant told the BHA’s public affairs team that he hoped the Bill would ‘reignite parliamentary interest in the issue and extract a statement from the coalition Government in support of statutory SRE.’
Naomi Phillips, BHA head of public affairs, said, ‘We are delighted to offer our full support of this bill, which is a valuable opportunity to make the case for SRE ahead of the publication of the new education bill in the autumn.’
‘SRE is an important subject that, as part of a broad, balanced and objective curriculum, helps to equip students with skills, knowledge and confidence they need for healthy, fulfilling and safe relationships now and in later life. Parents, teachers, and young people themselves have long called for SRE to be made a statutory entitlement in all state schools, understanding that change would significantly improve the standard and quality of the subject. It was with great regret that legal reforms set to do so were dropped at the end of the last parliament.
‘As part of our commitment to promoting and ensuring children’s rights to a good education and unbiased information, we are working closely with our supporters in parliament, as well as a wide range of other organisations, to seek ways to improve the provision of SRE in all schools. From our perspective, making SRE a statutory entitlement is a vital first step.’
For further comment or information, contact Naomi Phillips on 020 7079 3585 or 07540 257101.
The BHA is committed to encouraging informed and responsible choice. Therefore, we believe that all children are entitled to full and accurate SRE, including unbiased information on contraception, STIs, abortion, sexual orientation, and the many forms of family relationship conducive to individual fulfilment and the stability of society.
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.