The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
For children at a maintained school of secondary school age, provision for sex education is part of the basic curriculum for all registered pupils at the school, see section 80(1)(c) of the Education Act 2002 (EA 2002). See Practice Note: The curriculum in maintained schools.
Under section 403 of the Education Act 1996 (EA 1996), the governing body and head teacher must take steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where sex education is given to any registered pupils at a maintained school, it is given in such a manner as to encourage those pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life. EA 1996, s 403 also sets out specific areas that sex education must cover and requires that guidance is provided by the Secretary of State to secure these requirements. The then Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) issued the Sex and Relationship Education Guidance: 116/2000 in 2000.
It is however possible for parents of children at maintained schools to withdraw their children from sex education; EA 1996, s 405 states:
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