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#8 Can parents withdraw their children from school RSE?

The new legislation brought in through the Chidlren and Social Work Act 2017 makes some important changes in realtion to parental rights to withdraw children from school RSE:

  • Parents will not be able to withdraw their child from relationships education in primary school.
  • Parents will be able to withdraw their child from primary school classes which address sex education - i.e. those that do not sit within the relationships education curriculum.

  • Maintained primary schools are required to teach National Curriculum science, which includes some elements of sex education. Parents do not have a right to withdraw from this.

  • At secondary school level parents will be able to withdraw their child from RSE (other than the sex education which sits in the National Curriculum as part of science in maintained schools).

  • Schools will continue to be required to publish policies on these subjects for parents, and statutory guidance will continue to set out that schools should consult parents on those policies to ensure they are feeding in their views.

  • The Secretary of State intends to consult further in order to ‘clarify the age at which a young person may have the right to make their own decisions. The outcome will be set out in the regulations and guidance.