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Education Pembrokeshire West Wales

New Relationships and Sexuality Education policy question heard at full council

PCC County Hall

A CALL for Pembrokeshire County Council to provide assurance that RSE education in the county was “both age appropriate and does not constitute grooming” was heard at County Hall last week.

In late 2022 a legal challenge against the teaching of young children about gender identity and sex in primary schools across Wales was lost.

Campaigners had launched a judicial review in the High Court against the Welsh Government’s new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum.

The curriculum was launched that September, seeing the mandatory teaching of relationships and sexuality education to children from the age of seven.

In a submitted question heard at the May 9 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, member of the public Valerie Sutherland had asked: “Given the legal challenge to the RSE curriculum by concerned parents against Welsh Government, can you confirm the council’s safeguarding team are happy that the RSE education provided is both age appropriate and does not constitute grooming?

“Secondly, given that a number of parents are unhappy about the content of the new curriculum and the loss of their right to withdraw children from classes, particularly in light of the Cass Review, how are you ensuring that parents’ values are respected and that trust in schools is not eroded?”

Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Guy Woodham (Pic: Pembrokeshire County Council webcast)

Responding, Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Cllr Guy Woodham said: “The safeguarding and education team has been actively involved in develop age-appropriate content for schools,” adding: “In faith schools work has been done with each diocese for RSE”.

“Each school has developed a plan for RSE and shared it with parents and learners at their school, parents have been provided with information by their school on how to raise their concerns about the RSE curriculum following the decision to make RSE mandatory for all learners.

“Schools are working with families through the challenges that this brings; each school community has provided sessions for parents on the curriculum, parents are being informed and they have the opportunity to discuss this with the school.”

Cllr Woodham advised parents to raise concerns through the schools’ complaints policy should they have any concerns.

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