Education Minister: Parents in Wales won’t be able to opt children out of sex or religion lessons
Parents will not be able to prevent their children from learning about religion, relationships and sexuality under the new curriculum in Wales.
The announcement was made following an eight-week Welsh Government consultation on ensuring access to the full curriculum, including the teaching of relationship and sexuality and religious education.
‘Religious Education’ wil also be re-named ‘Religion, Values and Ethics’.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams made the announcement today and said there would need to be “careful and sensitive implementation” of the decision.
“Our responsibility as a government is to ensure that young people, through public education, have access to learning that supports them to discuss and understand their rights and the rights of others,” she said.
“It is essential that all young people are provided with access to information that keeps them safe from harm.
“Today’s decision ensures that all pupils will learn about issues such as online safety and healthy relationships.”
Kirsty Williams also outlined plans for implementation of the new policy which include the creation of guidance and resources for schools and the creation of a Faith/BAME Community Involvement Group to hold its first meeting this February.
The group will engage in the development of religious education guidance, develop a “shared understanding” of the new curriculum and “address concerns” raised by faith and community groups during the consultation.
“It is vital that we continue to work with communities across Wales to ensure parents have the right to develop, care for and guide their children into adulthood while allowing our schools to provide a broad and balanced education,” Kirsty Williams said.
“We will build on the community engagement which accompanied the consultation with a long term investment in listening to our communities and finding ways to address the issues which concern them.”
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