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RSHE Survey – Parents’ views Part 2

RSHE Survey – Parents’ views Part 2

ParentPower recently asked parents to complete a survey on Relationships and Sex Education in their children’s schools. Our previous feature about the survey results highlighted some of the key findings. Here we wanted to give a voice to some of the views expressed, which help to better explain those headline results. 

Overall, the majority of parents had strong negative views about their children’s RSE teaching. 66% of parents said they were ‘very unhappy’ with what children were being taught, and 71% believed they were being given information that was ‘not at all age appropriate’.

We found the main concerns were with parents feeling their children were being encouraged into early sexualisation; parents also expressed frustration that schools had ‘not communicated enough’ or ‘no information’ on the material that would be taught to their children. Parents also raised concerns with their children being taught LGBTQ and Transgender Ideology. 

Many parents advised us that schools were failing to listen to the views of parents; for example, one of these parent’s said, “My greatest concern is how parents’ voices are being drowned out more and more”.

Others expressed frustration because schools had failed to advise parents that they would be teaching their children RSE, or provided parents with any information on the material that they would be covering. Some of their comments included:

 “I don’t really know what has been taught. I get no information”.

“I’ve found the secondary school to be continually unhelpful at getting detailed information on precise content. Their responses are patronising”. 

“My children come from a conservative religious background and were not ready to be taught the RSE syllabus. I wasn’t given the opportunity to speak to them before hand as the school didn’t tell us. My eldest is only 7 years old”.

Many parents were anxious that RSE classes would lead to premature sexualisation, and many were distressed with inappropriate information being given to their children. 

One parent said, “Year 5 – already being primed for sexual activity – by being taught that having an erection means you are ready for sex. Telling a child that they are ready for sex is grooming. It’s paedophilia”.

Another commented, “I found out that they were advocating anal sex to my 12-year-old to prevent pregnancy!”

Wales has now made Relationships & Sexuality Education lessons compulsory and parents no longer have the right to withdraw children from these lessons. 

One parent from Wales said, “The entire Welsh curriculum is queer theory in action… it is blatant grooming and child abuse. Parents are legally prevented from safeguarding their children from such government mandated abuse”. 

Another Welsh parent said, “The proposed Welsh curriculum is fundamentally dangerous. Formal education should never aim to encourage children to develop any capacity for sexual feelings or sexual activity. Furthermore, the curriculum is wholly ideologically based, for example the proposal glossary actively divorces the words male and female from biological sex and redefines them as optional ‘genders’ alongside ‘nonbinary’ with a view to enabling medicalised gender identities, while biological sex is rendered completely undefined. It is entirely illogical, unscientific, and entirely ideological. Further, heterosexuality has been completely omitted as a legitimate sexuality (with the aim to ‘smash heteronormality’). The curriculum is not inclusive, and it does not respect parental rights, or diversity of religion or belief”.

Commonly, parents had particular concerns with gender ideology being taught in schools. Here are a few of their comments…

“By far my biggest concern is the teaching of ‘gender identity’ and everything related to gender identity ideology – from language such as ‘sex assigned at birth’ to ‘queer’, to the lack of critical commentary on the harms of gender identity ideology”.

 “They are teaching my child gender ideology which I fundamentally disagree with (it is regressive and sexist), and believe it is causing confusion and social contagion in children”. 

“I have serious concerns over the mention of sexuality to my seven-year-old, and I am concerned that this is only the beginning, and the transgender topic will follow in the next few years”.

“The school has done the following: issued a letter from the school council (which had actually come from the teachers) promoting LGBTQ history month, selling rainbow laces to call out anti-LGBTQ sentiment and raise money for Stonewall. I did manage to put a stop to this due to its political nature. They were reading books to the children, such as Out of the Blue, The Girl with Two Dads. Parents specifically asked to withdraw their children from hearing these books, but additional assemblies were put on and named ‘whole school lesson’ rather than ‘collective worship,’ so these parents could not withdraw their children. They also have other books available for children to read such as The Boy with a Pink Shadow. They changed the RSE policy without consulting parents. One of the governors who is also an Ofsted inspector, said parents do not need to be consulted as the change to the RSE policy is not a change but it’s enhancing the way it is taught [which is factually wrong. This RSE policy will enable the Headteacher to embed LGBTQ teaching across the whole curriculum. 2 staff members have attended transgender training, which isn’t specifically aimed at schools, rather a transgender person has set up their own charity and then offers training to businesses”.

“My child is coming back from school saying that Qatar is bad as they don’t allow homosexuals in the country”. 

A few parents had opted to withdraw their children from these lessons and provided us with their opinion on why they decided on this option. 

One parent said, “The decision to withdraw from RSE was due to finally being able to see the rubbish passing as lessons during lockdown. I think if more parents knew their rights as well as the content of the curriculum, there would be fewer children in these two subjects. I regret that I cannot protect my child fully from the climate of indoctrination.”

Many parents also stated that they felt it was entirely up to parents to teach RSE to their children. 

One parent said, “I don’t feel the government should be allowed to dictate what my child should know about these topics”.

Another said, “Leave it to the parents these are our children and up to us how much or how to educate our kids on RSE”.

Overall, the majority of parents were both anxious and angry with the Relationships and Sex Education that was being taught to their children at school; many felt powerless when wanting to ensure their children were safeguarded – a complete opposite of how parents should be feeling when allowing someone else access to their children. It is apparent that many parents also feel isolated and that contributes to the sense of powerlessness. 

We hope the outcome of this survey will demonstrate to parents who contributed that they are far from being alone in this fight for their children. Most parents actually want to have the final say when it comes to their children’s RSE teaching, and that natural right can be reclaimed if enough parents unite and take appropriate action. ParentPower exists to help and support parents do just that. 


ParentPower Team

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