Rishi Sunak vows to protect children from ‘radical’ sex education

Rishi Sunak wants to ‘end the 8am scramble’

Rishi Sunak has vowed to “put up the guard rails” to protect children from inappropriate sex education in classrooms.

The Prime Minister says he understands the concerns of fellow parents and that the nation’s ­children deserve a “curriculum that is sensitive and age-appropriate”.

A review of sex education was launched after more than 50 MPs wrote to the PM claiming that “children are being indoctrinated with radical and unevidenced ideologies about sex and gender”.

The National Association of Headteachers has raised concerns “that this is a politically motivated review” but the Conservative leader stressed his commitment to protecting young people.

He said: “First and foremost, as a parent, it is important we protect our kids and what they are exposed to, not just at school but online too. That’s why the Online Safety Bill is so important as well.

“It needs to be sensitive and age appropriate, and there have been plenty of concerns raised with me that there have been too many incidents of issues happening and I don’t think that’s right.

“Families up and down the country are ­concerned about what their children see and they expect me and the Government to put in place the guard rails for that. That’s what we are going to do and that really matters to me.”

The issue has been forced up the political agenda by Tory MPs including Miriam Cates, who claimed during Prime Minister’s Questions that “graphic lessons on oral sex, how to choke your partner safely and 72 genders” is “what passes for relationships and sex education in schools”.

The review coincides with concern over a lack of Government guidance about teaching trans pupils. Three-quarters of secondary school ­teachers polled by app Teacher Tapp said they teach trans or non-binary pupils.

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The Safe Schools Alliance, which aims to uphold childhood safeguarding in schools, says child protection laws are being “abandoned by teachers who are not informing parents when their ­children change their gender identity in school”.

Molly Kingsley, co-founder of the children’s charity UsForThem, said: “What is going on in our schools? This is beyond urgent and it is beyond a safeguarding issue. What is being taught about gender in schools is not scientific fact but it is taught as science. We urgently need to go over the curriculum and anything that is not biological fact should be taken out of schools.”

Mike Fairclough, a headmaster based in Eastbourne, East Sussex, said: “Sex education is important for children on a basic level but I am increasingly worried about the influence of gender identity politics in schools and the talk about children transitioning. Some teachers I have met say there are 100 different genders.

“Many teachers in the profession are from the TikTok generation as much as the children and they are not necessarily critical thinkers. Others are scared to question this narrative despite the clear harm being done to children over it.

“There is a culture of fear in the education ­system, in local authorities and in the Department for Education and you cannot challenge this ­gender ideology without coming under attack from colleagues and employees.”

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