What is your child being taught in school? Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)—The School Gate Campaign

As you lovingly wave goodbye to your child as they run through the school gates or get on the bus, do you know what they are being taught in school? Most parents don’t see or speak to their children in the six or seven hours a day they are at school. Do you know what they are being taught? Do you know who is teaching them? Do you want to know? Do you have the right to know?

Many more mature readers will remember the days of giggling with embarrassment or turning slightly red-faced when a teacher talked about anything associated with sex or genitalia. Even the mention of the word ‘penis’ or ‘breast’ was met with slight shock and raised eyebrows. Generally, it wasn’t a thing that was discussed until many reached secondary school in their teenage years. Sex education, as many will recall, was either a voyage of peer-group discovery, learning from friends, poring over books or a couple of chats (however awkward) with parents, quietly and privately at home.

In the 1950s and 1960s, pupils were more likely to learn about the reproductive habits of rabbits or the pollination of flowers. In some fee-paying schools, some received warnings about the dangers associated with masturbation. In many all-girls schools, menstruation was only spoken about it in hushed voices, but you always knew who was having a period because they couldn’t go swimming. How things have changed since then.

By the 1970s and 1980s, biology books provided full accounts of how the human reproductive system worked. The primary aim was to inform; to lessen ignorance, guilt and embarrassment. From that point, the sex industry has exploded onto our televisions and into our magazines, phones and lives. As we leap forward to 2023, ‘sex education’ at school has changed and expanded. Are you aware of what it has expanded into? We think you will want to know. It is your right to know.

UK Column was joined in its the recent Education Not Indoctrination seminar by Susan Mason, who in 2019 formed the School Gate Campaign to raise awareness regarding the Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) taking place in our schools today. At first, the campaign was a physical one; but when Covid–19 and lockup hit, the campaign took off online. The website has a very valuable free toolkit for download, with a wealth of information. Leaflets can be sent on request for free, although voluntary donations are gratefully received to cover costs. Please do support where you can; passing leaflets to family and friends is something we can all do.

What is RSE? Could it be harmful to children? It appears many parents, through no fault of their own, are not aware of what RSE is all about. With little or no access to any of the material their children are being taught, parents have no choice in what their child is being taught. Is this legal? Is it right? Is it safe?

The law in the United Kingdom requires schools to consult with parents and carers on RSE policy. However, in practice, parents are not being allowed to know or see what is being taught. Some are even being told that this would be breaching copyright. What are schools hiding from parents in preventing them from seeing the sex education content? Each school is different in this regard.

Young children are being told to ‘choose their gender’: that they can be who they want, a boy or a girl. Some recommended sources will go into graphic detail, introducing nudity and anal intercourse to primary school children before graduating to human sexual intercourse from the pupil age of 13. Please note that the age of consent in England and Wales remains 16 years old. This means any sexual activity between two or more people is always unlawful (statutory rape) if at least one of the participants is under 16.

Susan Mason gently navigates the audience through an introduction to what is happening in many schools today. There are accounts of children as young and innocent as four years of age being taught ‘self-stimulation’, and of other children too traumatised to be able to talk to parents about what they have been shown and told at school. Many children prefer not to participate in sexualisation but are unable to exempt themselves.

The psychological effects on our very youngest and most innocent of minds can be devastating. With family values being smashed to oblivion, what will the long-term harms be, and how will this impact a generation?

Children while separated from their parents at school, are being visited by strangers disguised as drag queens and even mermaids (gender diverse), where clearly the aim of the game is to normalise sexualisation and gender orientation in very young children. What moral or professional qualifications do these nameless individuals hold in order to teach the very purest and innocent of minds? What is behind the glitter, make-up and sparkle?

Susan Mason’s message is clear enough: you can make a difference. Parents are the lawful educators of their children and are allowed to decide how and when these sensitive subjects should be taught, and by whom. Challenge the narrative, inform yourself, and in turn inform others. If we don’t speak up now, our youngest of children will no longer be picking apples off trees, jumping in muddy puddles or enjoying all the innocence that goes with being young; they’ll be too taken up with deciding whether to wear a skirt or suit—too busy to be a child.

What can you do?

  • Ask your school to see the curriculum and resources used, including videos.
  • Invoke the right to withdraw your child from sex education.
  • Familiarise yourself with exemption rights.
  • Talk to other parents and alert them.
  • Circulate leaflets and information.
  • Reassure your children; talk to them gently and quietly about what they are being taught.
  • SAY NO.

Susan Mason recommends:

Parent Power

Safe Schools Alliance

Transgender Trend

RSE Review

Susan Mason’s final word on the matter follows.

While not all schools will deliver bad RSE, significant issues have already emerged over teaching about sex, sexuality and gender in English schools.

Other groups, quite rightly, continue to lobby government, showing sound research and other information that demonstrates that this approach to RSE is not best for children. Experience indicates that these actions alone will not change the direction our nation is being taken in. Only grassroots action will make the difference.

We are looking for people—especially parents—who care enough about children to count the cost, sharing information and standing up for them.

  • The government (or nanny state) ignored the result of the RSE public consultation (which was overwhelmingly negative to proposals).
  • Sound mainstream child development expertise has often been ignored; therefore, curriculum content cannot be guaranteed to be appropriate for the age and stage of the children.
  • Parental rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act of 1998 and the Education Act 1996 have been ignored: the state is breaking the law.
  • Religious rights, including protection of the religious characteristic in the Equalities Act 2010, have been ignored—making it, in practice, the Inequalities Act.
  • The nanny state has ignored many concerns of those promoting children’s health and wellbeing about the ill-advised nature of this curriculum.

It’s up to us to take action, then. It’s important that parents, teachers and all those concerned about children take a stand to protect them from confusion and premature sexualisation in schools.