Ban on schools teaching children about gender identity under new sex education rules

Ban on schools teaching children about gender identity under new sex education rules

Rishi Sunak is doubling down on so-called culture war issues with a ban on children being taught about gender identity and having “explicit” conversations about sex before the age of 13, according to reports.

Days after common sense minister Esther McVey announced a crackdown on pro-LGBT+ lanyards being worn by civil servants, the government is to unveil guidance on when children are to be offered sex education.

The guidance will also make clear that gender identity is seen as a contested subject by ministers and teachers should focus on “biological” facts about sex.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

According to a series of reports, the guidance will also ban all sex education in primary schools until year five, when children are nine or over.

At that point, lessons are to focus simply on conception and birth, with no explicit discussions of sexual acts until they are 13 and over, according to The Times.

It reported that domestic violence, coercive control and sexual violence also should not be discussed until children reach 13.

It comes days after Ms McVey announced a ban on rainbow-coloured and other “random” lanyards in the civil service as part of a new series of measures for a Tory “war on woke”

Mr Sunak’s common sense minister also attacked LGBT+ charity Stonewall, which has been providing advice on inclusivity to Whitehall departments, insisting that “there will be no more contracts for external diversity spending from this as soon as this guidance is made live unless signed off by a government minister”.

The new guidance is reportedly part of the Government’s response following concerns that some children are receiving age-inappropriate relationships, sex and health education (RSHE).

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The prime minister commissioned a review into the curriculum after hearing concerns, including from ConservativeMPs, that children were receiving sex education lessons at too young an age.

Other measures set to be announced by education secretary Gillian Keegan after the review include a requirement for schools to provide parents with samples of the material their children will be taught to quell these fears.

Children would also not be taught about contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and abortion until age 13.

The existing guidance outlines broad lesson modules which says primary school aged children should be taught about different types of families and healthy relationships.

Secondary school aged children meanwhile are taught more complex topics, including about puberty, sexual relationships, consent, unsafe relationships and online harms.

RSHE was made mandatory in all schools in England from September 2020.

The Department for Education said it could not confirm the newspaper reports, and that it would not speculate on leaks.