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Schools: Charities

Question for Department for Education

UIN 71278, tabled on 25 October 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that materials provided by (a) Mermaids and (b) other advocacy organisations for use in schools are appropriate for use by (i) vulnerable and (ii) other children.

Answered on

2 November 2022

Schools have flexibility over how they deliver the Curriculum and what resources they use.

The non-statutory implementation guidance, ‘Plan your Relationships, Sex and Health Curriculum,’ sets out clear guidance for schools in choosing resources, and states that schools should assess all resources carefully to ensure they are age appropriate, meet the outcome of the relevant part of the curriculum, and are in line with the school’s legal duties in relation to impartiality.

Schools should not promote contested theory as fact. The Department expects schools to use the Relationships, Sex and Health Education Curriculum to help children understand the world around them in an age-appropriate, balanced manner. The Department also expects schools to consult with parents on these matters and to make reasonable decisions about the content of their Curriculum.

The Department recognises the issues relating to gender identity, and we are currently developing transgender guidance to support schools to navigate these complex and sensitive issues. The Department intends to hold a full public consultation on the draft guidance prior to publication in 2023.