DECIPHer consultation: Should Welsh parents be allowed to withdraw their children from sex education?

DECIPHer recently contributed to the debate on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in Welsh schools via a consultation

DECIPHer regularly contributes to consultations on major issues in public health, engaging with key debates on public health improvement and supporting the development of evidence-informed policy. A recent example is our response to a Welsh Government consultation regarding removing the parental right to withdraw from Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). The outcome was that Welsh government ruled parents should not be allowed to withdraw their children.

Children and young people have the right to high quality, holistic and inclusive education about sexuality and relationships.’ Dr Kelly Buckley

Dr Kelly Buckley, who led the consultation, says:  ‘We argued strongly that parents should not be allowed to remove their children from RSE. Children and young people have the right to high quality, holistic and inclusive education about sexuality and relationships, and this legislative change upholds the UNCRC convention and grants children and young people in Wales their right to receive accurate information related to their sexuality.

‘There is a common misperception that if RSE lessons, particularly those that cover sexuality education, are introduced to children and young people at too young an age (or even at all),  it encourages engagement in sexual relations. However, research has repeatedly found the opposite to be true, as countries with the lowest teenage birth rates and the lowest proportion of sexually active young people under the age of 15 are those with established comprehensive sexuality education programmes.’

The initial government paper and DECIPHer response can be found on our Consultations page.

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