As Muslim parents, we’re naturally alarmed by sexualised content, as well as ‘LGBTQ+’ indoctrination in schools. In this light, matters came to a head last week, when Conservative MP, Miriam Cates, decried inappropriate RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) materials as “a catastrophe for childhood”. 
We’re also obviously concerned by schools imposing foreign value positions onto Muslim children under the guise of values-neutral education. Parents are at loggerheads with schools teaching primary-aged children about masturbation, or that not all porn is bad, or that being ‘gay’ is perfectly acceptable. These ‘lessons’ are essentially blurring the lines between what is legal and what is moral.
The recent intervention by Cates led to promises by the Prime Minister, of an inquiry to “ensure that schools are not teaching inappropriate or contested content” in Relationships, Sex, and Health Education (RSHE). 
Don’t sit idly by!
As parents, we cannot wait for the results of an inquiry for which a clear scope and terms of reference are yet to be decided.
Therefore, we must pursue answers from schools, challenging inappropriate content whenever we come across it.
One of the main problems with schools is, they aren’t transparent. Sometimes, they will only show you the materials for your child’s year group. Other times, they will say they cannot show you any materials, due to contractual copyright conditions imposed by resource providers.
Statutory vs. non-statutory sex education
Another problem is schools will sometimes teach topics that do not belong in the statutory subjects, which effectively infringes on the parental right to withdraw from sex education. So even if a parent withdraws from non-statutory sex education in their child’s primary school, it will creep into Relationships and Health Education or Science.
A parent I’m supporting at the moment is concerned that her primary school will be talking about masturbation to her Year 6 child as part of a Relationships and Health Education lesson, when there is no basis for doing so in the Relationships and Health Education curriculum.
If a school decides to teach this, it belongs in non-statutory sex education classes, from which parents have the right to withdraw. This ought to be firmly challenged. And this is why I’ve always advised parents to seek as much clarity as possible.
It’s very important that you’re equipped with the knowledge of what your children must be taught (statutory) and what they do not need to be taught (non-statutory).
How primary schools shoehorn inappropriate sex education and ‘LGBTQ+’ topics
Schools may teach the above under the guise of statutory sex education. And although there are a clear number of learning outcomes that a school must cover by the end of primary school, precisely when a school teaches these is not fixed by law.
Rather, there is an in-built flexibility, which far too many schools are not utilising.
Additionally, there are no mandatory resources a school must use, and even if a school chooses to use a resource, there is no requirement to use it ‘as is’. They can adapt and exclude aspects of the resources, if they deem it appropriate.
Many of the companies that create and sell such resources to schools also define when the different topics should be taught.
This often comes across as a directive, rather than a suggestion.
Most schools follow the programme, simply because it’s easier. But this then means that any parental ‘consultation’ process isn’t actually meaningful.
Problems with how RSE learning outcomes are taught
“Families and people who care for me”
In this area of learning, the statutory guidance states,
“Pupils should know (by the end of primary school) that others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.” 
This is where families with two dads and two mums are included… Even though the government has clarified that it is NOT a statutory requirement to include same-sex family structures in a primary school setting.
In this learning area, the statutory guidance mandates the following learning outcome,
“Pupils should know (by the end of primary school) what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative, or destructive.” 
The most popular resource, Jigsaw, uses a discussion about ‘gender’ stereotypes, that ties into the above statutory learning outcome, before then introducing a discussion about ‘transgenderism’ in Year 2.
This is despite it not being a requirement.
On this topic, one of the learning outcomes mandated by statutory guidance states,
“Pupils should know (by the end of primary school) that each person’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact.” 
The thing is, however, that schools will often use the buzzword safeguarding to justify teaching children in Year 1 or 2 words such as penis, breasts, vulva, etc.
Schools may also argue that if children do not know the correct ‘scientific’ names, they will not be able to know if they are abused or be an effective witness in a potential court case.
The NSPCC PANTS rule
For many years, the best resource to keep children safe was the PANTS rule formulated by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
As an organisation, the NSPCC is problematic. But this resource simply allowed children to recognise that no adult should touch a child under the pants, as they are private areas.
Until the new RSE regime was introduced, the NSPCC did not suggest that children needed to be able to name their private parts!
Science in primary schools
In the programme of study for Year 5 pupils, some of the statutory learning outcomes include:
- Describing the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals
- Describing the changes as humans develop to old age. 
As for being able to describe the reproduction and life cycle of plants and animals, the guidance states,
“They might observe changes in an animal over a period of time (for example, by hatching and rearing chicks), comparing how different animals reproduce and grow.” 
And for learning how to describe age-related changes in humans, the guidance suggests that,
“Pupils should draw a timeline to indicate stages in the growth and development of humans. They should learn about the changes experienced in puberty.” 
Physical health and mental wellbeing
Under the topic heading of the “Changing adolescent body”, the statutory guidance states,
“Pupils should know (by the end of primary school) key facts about puberty and the changing adolescent body, particularly from age 9 through to age 11, including physical and emotional changes; about menstrual wellbeing including the key facts about the menstrual cycle.” 
Remember, in a primary school sex education is not statutory. Therefore, what a school decides to teach is not based on any national requirements.
Typically, a school will buy in resources. Parents can fully withdraw if they believe that what their child’s school is teaching is not appropriate.
Now, in order to demand transparency, you must ask your child’s school to break down what is taught in these subjects, and get them to map it to either the statutory guidance (for Relationships and Health Education) or the science programme of study. What this will do is cut through false or misleading claims.
Most of the time, schools will do what other schools are doing, and rely upon what they believe they are required to do.
Very few schools have independently understood what they are required to do. Some schools will argue that certain vocabulary is required in different year groups.
Asking your child’s school to break down what they teach in the subjects we have spoken about will will force them to reflect on their practice. It will make them introspectively question (or justify) their claim to what they assure you is ‘statutory’.
The two tables (available by clicking either of the two buttons below) diagrammatically capture what you’re asking a school to provide.
You can download a copy and email it to them, or should you choose, you could print and post or hand it to them with a clear request to clarify what they are teaching, and to map it to statutory requirements.
Never underestimate how this simple act can help you to safeguard your children and other children.
- This ‘gay’ article is going to get me cancelled
- 5 ways YOU can fight back against school ‘LGBTQ+’ agendas
- ‘LGBTQ+’ History Month: Key messages for parents