Relationships, Sex and Health Education: Statutory Guidance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 12:20 pm ar 16 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament 12:20, 16 Mai 2024

In answer to a question on 29 April, the Minister for Schools, my right hon. Friend Member for East Hampshire (Damian Hinds), strongly endorsed the importance of sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996, which respectively ban the promotion of partisan political views, and require the balanced presentation of opposing views when politically contentious subjects are brought to the attention of pupils. Gender ideology is certainly politically contentious, and I was concerned to be alerted by Mrs Clare Page, the educational commentator and campaigner, to the Department’s “Political impartiality in schools” guidance 2022, which states:

“Legal duties on political impartiality do not supersede schools’ other statutory requirements. Schools should take a reasonable and proportionate approach to ensuring political impartiality, alongside their other responsibilities.”

I do not know how you would read that, Mr Deputy Speaker, but I read it as an attempt to undermine the firm guidance given in statute law that partisan political views must not be promoted in school. I hope the Secretary of State will look into that matter.