Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory support

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Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory support

#1  Postby Matt H » Apr 07, 2010 4:30 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8607677.stm

Schools Secretary Ed Balls has dropped key reforms, including compulsory sex education for 15 year olds, after the Conservatives refused to back them.

The reforms are being shelved to push the Children, Schools and Families Bill through parliament before it is dissolved before the general election.

One-to-one tuition, a home education register and school report cards are among the abandoned plans for England.

Mr Balls expressed his "deep regret", but the Tories defended their position.

Under the redrafted Bill, home school agreements, which give head teachers stronger powers to enforce parents' responsibilities in maintaining good behaviour, have been dropped.

Reforms of the primary school curriculum, allowing schools greater flexibility to tailor teaching to their children, have also been shelved, as have catch-up lessons, one-to-one tuition and small group support for pupils needing extra support.

Mr Balls has been forced to drop plans for a licence to practise for teachers, as well as well as a requirement that local authorities carry out parental satisfaction surveys on secondary schools.

The Bill will no longer give local authorities powers to intervene in schools causing concern and it will not give powers to the secretary of state to intervene in failing youth-offending teams.

In a letter to his Conservative shadow Michael Gove, Mr Balls said the Tories had put improvements in schools and the well-being of young people at risk.

Mr Balls said: "I am especially disappointed that, despite our conversation yesterday, you could not agree to make personal social health and economic education (PSHE) statutory in all state-funded schools.

"There is now widespread agreement that statutory PSHE is essential to prepare young people for adult life, and our reforms would ensure that by reducing the age of parental opt-out to 15, all children receive at least one year of compulsory sex- and relationship education (SRE).

"This is a very significant setback, which will deny many young people proper and balanced sex- and relationships education."

Mr Balls said if Labour won the election he would make sure these measures made it on to the statute book in the first session of the new parliament.

But the Conservatives said they had successfully blocked more bureaucracy for teachers.

A spokesman said: "This Bill would have meant a great new wave of bureaucracy swamping schools and it is good news that it has collapsed - teachers will breathe a sigh of relief. "

Mr Gove said the Tories had opposed plans to remove a parent's right to veto sex education beyond the age of 15 because "children are children until they are 16, and after that they are adults".

He said the Tories had opposed government plans for one-to-one tuition for children who fall behind because head teachers had been against it, and because it was unnecessarily bureaucratic, tying the hands of teachers.

The Conservatives were criticised by the NASUWT teachers' union.

General secretary Chris Keates said: "Why would the Tories want to reject these things, if not to create a free for all in which only the strongest, the wealthiest and most privileged survive?"

Policy director of the Terrence Higgins Trust, Lisa Power, also criticised the Tories for their failure to support compulsory sex education for pupils at age 15.

"It's a disgraceful betrayal of the next generation," said Ms Power.

Sexual health charity Brook said it was "extremely disappointed that young people could be let down yet again" over sex education.

National director Simon Blake said: "A broad consensus has now been established between children, young people, parents and professionals in support of statutory sex and relationships education.

"All politicians must listen to this majority."


Quite frankly I'm pissed off about this. I emailed my MP before and didn't get a response. If anyone is interested, here is what I've sent her today:

Dear Caroline Spelman,

I had wondered why I had not received a reply to my last message to
you, regarding the Children, Schools and Families Bill. I had written
to protest to the exemption given to faith schools in regards to sex
education lessons. However, the news today that the government has been
forced to drop the entire Bill due to lack of Conservative support goes
some way to explain your silence on this matter.

The BBC News article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8607677.stm)
features replies from various members of charity and union groups, who
are all disappointed with the Conservative stance on the issue. Of
particular note are the views of the following, and I quote:

'Policy director of the Terrence Higgins Trust, Lisa Power, also
criticised the Tories for their failure to support compulsory sex
education for pupils at age 15.

"It's a disgraceful betrayal of the next generation," said Ms Power.

Sexual health charity Brook said it was "extremely disappointed that
young people could be let down yet again" over sex education.

National director Simon Blake said: "A broad consensus has now been
established between children, young people, parents and professionals
in support of statutory sex and relationships education.

"All politicians must listen to this majority."'

I am very upset that, despite Mr. Cameron's portrayal of the
Conservatives as a modernised, progressive party, you are still
appearing to put social conservatism and narrow religious sensibilities
(not the views of the religious mainstream, but those of a small
section of our society who still find basic biology offensive to them),
before the welfare of children. I don't think the bureaucracy excuse
holds up one bit; the Bill would have ensured compulsory sex education
for every school.

As you are a member of the shadow cabinet, and have been for many
years, I would hope you make my views known on this issue with Michael
Gove, and perhaps remind him of the stance of the sexual health
charities.

Yours sincerely,
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Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#2  Postby Paul1 » Apr 07, 2010 4:42 pm

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/04/07/go ... ion-plans/

Labour, our ruling party here, have dropped plans to make sex education compulsory for all pupils above 15. Gay rights campaigners had welcomed the idea as sex education includes discussion about homosexuality, homophobic bullying, and HIV. However the bill was watered down to get it through parliament before the election on May the 6th, including allowing faith schools to discuss homosexuality in line with their religious teachings. Parents currently have the right to withdraw their children up to the age of 19 from sex education. Labour criticised the Conservatives' opposition to their planned reforms calling the concessions "a great setback," whilst the Conservatives said "This bill would have meant a great new wave of bureaucracy swamping schools..."



This story made me sigh, as they do. 19 is far too old, technically you are an adult in the UK at 18, so where this "19" figure was made up is beyond me. I totally agree with lowering the age of sex education to 16 - the age of consent, if not just to be taught about HIV and the importance of condoms.

How the Conservatives can oppose these common sense changes is beyond me. How Labour could just so weakly compromise on allowing religious schools to teach their own bigoted version is beyond me.
Last edited by Paul1 on Apr 07, 2010 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#3  Postby Ash » Apr 07, 2010 4:49 pm

I don't get how the sex ed age is 3 years older than the age of consent either. It's strange that you can buy porn before your parents can stop you attending the classes. :think:

If anything, teens should be taught about sex before they're legally allowed to do it. Teaching it at a younger age is much better than letting them figure it out for themselves later on.
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#4  Postby Nostalgia » Apr 07, 2010 4:52 pm

I think sex-ed should start in primary school...
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#5  Postby james1v » Apr 07, 2010 4:53 pm

:scratch:
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Re: Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory suppor

#6  Postby MoonLit » Apr 07, 2010 5:12 pm

Why not just keep it in the reform anyways?
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#7  Postby Jörmungandr » Apr 07, 2010 5:21 pm

Try as you might UKers, you're just like 'Murika sometimes. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#8  Postby Paul G » Apr 07, 2010 5:23 pm

Jörmungandr wrote:Try as you might UKers, you're just like 'Murika sometimes. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Even more so after May 6th. D D D D Dave has manged to keep the old tory moral majority bullshit under wraps for now.
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#9  Postby lordshipmayhem » Apr 07, 2010 5:29 pm

MacIver wrote:I think sex-ed should start in primary school...

Agreed, and at least as soon as Grade 1. Kindergarten is not too early to start.

Think where child abusers would be if their potential victims were taught "this is what is and is not OK" from an early age. The Roman Catholic Church might have had fewer issues if at a far younger age the potential victims knew better than to put up with that sort of thing.

Think how many teen pregnancies could be avoided, and the decision avoided as to whether to risk going to term or to risk an abortion. Both are medical procedures with chances of complications.

Think about the decrease in sexually transmitted disease.

Think about the happier, better informed sex lives when they grow up and enter into stable, long-term relationships. They can get married at 18 - nature doesn't suddenly implant them with advanced sex ed when they blow the 18 birthday candles out or say "I do".

Just think.
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#10  Postby Paul G » Apr 07, 2010 5:32 pm

lordshipmayhem wrote:
MacIver wrote:I think sex-ed should start in primary school...

Agreed, and at least as soon as Grade 1. Kindergarten is not too early to start.

Think where child abusers would be if their potential victims were taught "this is what is and is not OK" from an early age. The Roman Catholic Church might have had fewer issues if at a far younger age the potential victims knew better than to put up with that sort of thing.

Think how many teen pregnancies could be avoided, and the decision avoided as to whether to risk going to term or to risk an abortion. Both are medical procedures with chances of complications.

Think about the decrease in sexually transmitted disease.

Think about the happier, better informed sex lives when they grow up and enter into stable, long-term relationships. They can get married at 18 - nature doesn't suddenly implant them with advanced sex ed when they blow the 18 birthday candles out or say "I do".

Just think.


I think you're missing something. Willies and Moo Moos are icky and rot the mind.
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Re: Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory suppor

#11  Postby Paul G » Apr 07, 2010 5:37 pm

The same party which constantly laments the rise in teen preganancies and bad parenting, no less.
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#12  Postby lordshipmayhem » Apr 08, 2010 3:08 am

[quote="Paul GI think you're missing something. Willies and Moo Moos are icky and rot the mind.[/quote]
Only of the religilous adulterers. Frankly, that's the best reason of all for elementary school Sex Ed. :grin:
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Re: Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory suppor

#13  Postby Paul1 » Apr 08, 2010 11:36 am

"Balls Drops Education about Balls"
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Re: Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory suppor

#14  Postby dalv8409 » Apr 08, 2010 1:44 pm

Now we will see a huge increase of teenage pregnancies, more STD or STI infections and of course the religious morons will blame it on society instead of the thing that will cause which religion and it's retarded views on sex and sexuality.

Paul1 wrote:"Balls Drops Education about Balls"

That's clever. :lol: How about this?

"Ed Balls, pretty he doesn't have any"
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Re: Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory suppor

#15  Postby Paul G » Apr 08, 2010 2:23 pm

You find that pretty!? :o
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Re: Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory suppor

#16  Postby dalv8409 » Apr 08, 2010 2:53 pm

Paul G wrote:You find that pretty!? :o


This may be stupid but who are you talking too? Is it to me or someone else?
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Re: Balls drops sex education bill because of no Tory suppor

#17  Postby Ash » Apr 08, 2010 2:55 pm

dalv8409 wrote:
Paul G wrote:You find that pretty!? :o


This may be stupid but who are you talking too? Is it to me or someone else?


Don't worry, you'll see it eventually. It took me a while to get it and I feel rather silly now! :lol:
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#18  Postby The_Metatron » Apr 08, 2010 2:58 pm

MacIver wrote:I think sex-ed should start in primary school...

It does, in our house.

I won't rely on schools to teach my boys such important topics.
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Re: Sex education in the UK? No thank you!

#19  Postby Ash » Apr 08, 2010 3:12 pm

The_Metatron wrote:
MacIver wrote:I think sex-ed should start in primary school...

It does, in our house.

I won't rely on schools to teach my boys such important topics.


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