Faith schools free to preach against homosexuality
By POLLY CURTIS - THE GUARDIAN
Added: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 23:00:00 UTC
Thanks to m.e.s. for the link.
â¢ Government plans include sex education for all pupils
â¢ Catholic schools welcome clause on teaching 'values'
Sex education is to be made compulsory in all state schools in England but faith schools will also be free to preach against sex outside marriage and homosexuality, under government proposals.
The plans to make personal, social and health education (PSHE) compulsory from the age of five, published yesterday, include a clause allowing schools to apply their "values" to the lessons and another allowing parents to opt their children out on religious grounds.
It means that all state secondaries in England - including faith schools - will for the first time have to teach a core curriculum about sex and contraception in the context of teenagers' relationships, but teachers in religious schools will also be free to tell them that sex outside marriage, homosexuality or using contraception are wrong. Sexual health campaigners warned that such an approach could confuse teenagers, but Catholic schools welcomed the move.
The government-commissioned review by Sir Alasdair Macdonald, headteacher of Morpeth school in east London, on how to make PSHE compulsory, concludes that schools will be legally obliged to teach pupils about health and nutrition, safety, drugs and alcohol and sex education.
For the first time pupils will be taught how to stay safe - from tackling cyber-bullying to resisting pressure to join gangs - and how to manage their bank accounts.
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