Rishi Sunak tends to shy away from social issues so it has been left to a backbencher, Miriam Cates, to introduce a Bill which would oblige schools to disclose to parents the materials which are being used in their children’s sex education classes.
The Bill is necessary because the Conservative government has allowed sex education in many schools to be taken over by campaign groups with a radical agenda who wish to persuade children that it is wrong to think in a ‘heteronormative’ way.
The scandals that have recently surrounded schools reveal the scale and severity of the problem. Children have in some cases been taught that there are dozens, even hundreds, of different genders, and that somehow they must discern and choose their own. Some have been told that when talking or writing about historical figures they should always use ‘they’ because we don’t know a past person’s preferred pronouns. Muslim parents in particular have protested against their children being given ‘age–inappropriate’ information about sexual practices. They insist that parents should have a right to know what their children are being told.
The rise in the number of children claiming to be transgender seems to have caught the government by surprise but, given what pupils are now being taught, it should not have done. One popular schoolbook, for instance, tells of a Cinderella-like figure who undergoes a successful gender realignment overnight with no complications and no regrets.
We have a brave London mother, Clare Page, to thank for finally bringing the scandal to light. Page asked to see what her daughters were learning in sex education but to her astonishment she was rebuffed by the school. She then complained to the academy trust which ran the school, and was briefly shown an extract on a laptop which confirmed that children were being taught a concept known as ‘sex positivity’.