Committee Chair seeks Ministerial reassurances that schools SRE policies are up-to-scratch

Chair of the National Assembly’s Children and Young People Committee, Ann Jones AM has sought reassurances from the Welsh Government that equality is ensured when sex and relationship education (SRE) is taught in Welsh schools.

Tabling written questions to the Minister for Education and Skills, the AM for the Vale of Clwyd expressed her concerns regarding media reports of a number of Welsh schools still had Section 28 of the Local Government Act, banning the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools. The provision was repealed in 2003 by the last Labour Government.

Mrs Jones said: “I was amazed and appalled that some schools still had the homophobic Section 28 displayed in their SRE policies.

“It is absolutely vital that SRE policies are up to date with the current statutory framework and teach that same-sex relationships are as equal as heterosexual relationships. I think it’s important that school governors across Wales examine their schools SRE policy and make sure that our children are getting an education that is fair and promotes equality.

“This is an opportunity for governors to ensure that our children get the education they deserve by fully examining their SRE policy.

“All young people in Wales need to receive inclusive sex and relationships education.

“It is extremely important that young people are taught in a way that does not subject them to discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 is very clear on this.

“I know that the Welsh Government is fully committed to promoting equality across all public services and I look forward to hearing from the Minister what proactive steps he has taken to ensure that mistakes like this are never repeated”.

Ann has tabled the following questions:

Will the Minister outline what guidance is given to schools and local authorities to ensure that same-sex relationships are taught alongside heterosexual relationships? (WAQ65374)

What guidance does the Welsh Government give to local authorities to ensure inclusion of protected characteristics, particularly sexual orientation, in their SRE policies? (WAQ65375)

Will the Minister provide details of any discussions and any future plans he has had with regards to ensuring that schools SRE policies are up-to-date with current legislative frameworks? (WAQ65376)