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Sex Education (Faith Schools)

Volume 504: debated on Monday 25 January 2010

3. What recent representations he has received on teaching about homosexual relationships in faith schools. (312579)

We are not aware of any specific representations from faith schools on teaching about homosexual relationships, although we are aware that it is of concern to some. We will be consulting on revised guidance to schools on sex and relationships education that makes it clear that schools have the flexibility to tailor their SRE provision to reflect the ethos of the school, but that teaching should be presented in a balanced way and should include other perspectives.

I am grateful to the Minister for that response. Do the Government agree with the leader of the Liberal party that schools should be forced to teach that homosexuality is normal and harmless?

Many faith schools are already teaching SRE very well. Schools have to teach within the context of their faith and their beliefs. They must present the accurate facts on homosexuality and do so fairly, and they can then, of course, talk about their faith, ethos and beliefs, too. They must also talk about tolerance, diversity and respect for all people who live in our communities and about the importance of rights and responsibilities.