Nadine Dorrie's Sex Education (Required Content) Bill - My follow up

I blogged back in June 2011 about Nadine Dorrie's Sex Education (Required Content) Bill and the letter I sent to my local MP (who had been away on the day of voting). Her absence mattered as the bill was only passed to the next stage with a tiny majority (67 ‘aye's and 61 ‘no's) and will go to a final vote in Jan 2012.

I actually got a response in July (just an acknowledgement) and then an actual reply in August 2011.

The reply contained a summary page from my local MP, but also an attached letter written by Nick Gibb (Minister of State for Schools). Nick Gibb's reply to is to personally, rather than a stock letter, which is vaguely reassuring.

Here are some crucial elements from his letter:

''It is important that all children should continue to have high quality sex and relationships education at school...providing them with a safe and supportive enviroment in which to develop the knowledge they need to make wise and informed choices later in life.''

''Under the current arrangements, all primary schools are required to provide age appropriate teaching about human biology...there is no requirement on primary schools to provide sex education, althugh many primary schools do teach aspects of Sex an Relationships Education.''

''All schools...must have a sex education policy which sets out what pupils will learn at each key stage and how they will learn these topics...There are no plans to specify the teaching of abstinence for any age group; instead we want to continue to trust schools to handle this issue approprtiately and sensitively.''

His response does reassure me that most of the system talk much more sense than Nadine Dorries, although the 67/61 ratio bothers me (I hope that they were voting to enable a wider discussion rather than in agreement).

Our sex education needs to focus on equal opportunities for boys and girls - and giving our teens educataed choices. They need to know they can make a confident choice; whether they chose to have sex or not to have sex. Sex takes two consenting people, and isolating girls for additonal classes is just madness. The message it would send out would be such a backwards step.