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Ministers will ban schools from teaching sex education to children under nine and teachers will be told to tell pupils that gender ideology is a ‘contested belief’

Schools will now be banned from teaching sex education to children under the age of nine.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan will tomorrow unveil proposals to ban the subject altogether for young children, with lessons only able to start in at least year five.

Ms Keegan is also expected to say gender identity is a “contested subject that should not be taught” in schools.

Parents will also have the right to see the material taught to their children.

In a surprise move, ministers decided to make these guidelines statutory, meaning schools will have to comply with them by law.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan will tomorrow unveil proposals to ban the subject altogether for young children, with lessons only able to start in at least year five.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan will tomorrow unveil proposals to ban the subject altogether for young children, with lessons only able to start in at least year five.

Parents will also have the right to see the material taught to their children.  File pic

Parents will also have the right to see the material taught to their children. File pic

A government source said Rishi Sunak believed rules around sex education for younger children needed to be made “much stricter”.

Under current rules, “relationship education” begins when children start primary school at the age of four and can be supplemented with sex education using “age-appropriate material”.

The Prime Minister ordered a review after Tory MPs produced evidence that “age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualising and inaccurate” content was being taught to young children across Britain.

In a letter to ministers, Ms Keegan said sex education “would not be taught until year five”, which includes pupils aged nine and ten.

Government sources confirmed last night that a new age limit would be imposed for the teaching of sex education, but said the precise age was still being finalised.

The new guidance will also clarify that the content of sex education lessons must be based on “scientific” facts.

So schools will be instructed not to teach gender ideology – and if the topic arises, they will have to make it clear that it is a contested belief.

Once children reach the age of nine, they will learn the basic factors of conception and childbirth in order to stay safe.

They will learn how to set “appropriate boundaries” and how to report anything that concerns them, the Times reported.

When they turn 13, they can learn about contraception, STIs and abortion.

They can also be made aware of domestic violence, coercive control and sexual violence.

After ninth grade, children can be told that pornography can cause them to have a “distorted” view of themselves.

And 11-year-olds will learn that sending nude photos of someone under 18 can be a criminal offense.

They will also learn about sexual harassment, revenge porn, forced marriage and grooming.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: “We have always believed that the idea that someone can have a different gender identity to their sex is a contested political belief which should not be taught as fact in our schools.”

Since September 2020, relationships, health and sexuality education has been compulsory in schools. In primary schools, pupils must learn “the building blocks of healthy and respectful relationships” as part of the national curriculum.

At the time, the Department for Education said sex education would not be compulsory in primary schools, but acknowledged – and recommended – that many chose to do so. Guidance on their website suggests that content will be “appropriate to the age, physical and emotional maturity of their students”.

Mr Sunak’s consideration of these lessons came after more than 50 Conservative MPs told him that “children are being indoctrinated by radical and baseless ideologies about sex and gender”.

The Prime Minister ordered a review after Tory MPs produced evidence that “age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualising and inaccurate” content was being taught to young children across Britain.  Pictured is Rishi Sunak

The Prime Minister ordered a review after Tory MPs produced evidence that “age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualising and inaccurate” content was being taught to young children across Britain. Pictured is Rishi Sunak

Conservative MP Miriam Cates told the Prime Minister that young people were being given “explicit lessons on… what passes for relationships and sex education in British schools”, including material on oral sex, violent practices and claims that people can belong to any group membership. confusing 72 different genres.

“Across the country, children are being subjected to age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualizing and inaccurate lessons, often using the resources of unregulated organizations who actively campaign to undermine parents.”

It prompted Mr Sunak to pledge to protect Britain’s “precious” children.

“First and foremost as a parent, it is very important that what our children are exposed to, not only in school but online, is sensitive and age appropriate,” he said Last year.

“Our children are precious, they deserve to be protected. Families across the country are concerned about what their children see online and expect me and the government to put protections in place. This is what we are going to do.

“What I want is a program that is sensitive and age-appropriate. Our children are precious; they deserve to be protected sensitively. This is what I want above all as a parent.

In October, Ms Keegan wrote to schools asking them to share sex education materials with parents.

She said: “No ifs, no buts and no more excuses. This government is acting to ensure parents’ fundamental right to know what their children are learning in sex and relationships education. I write to schools and parents to debunk the copyright myth that parents cannot see what their children are being taught. Parents must have the power to ask questions and schools must have the confidence to share.

Before the guidance was published, Ms Cates said: “For too long, activist groups have been pushing a politically motivated agenda for children, under the guise of the RSHE. We need mandatory guidance to restore common sense and the right of parents to know what their children are being taught.

And fellow Conservative Nick Fletcher added: “Our schools, and what they taught children about sex and gender, played a role in steering vulnerable children down a path of irreversible harm.

“The reach of gender ideologues has been such that there is no simple “silver bullet.” Education ministers are acutely aware of the need for action. Officials worked on solutions. Some have been promised for a long time. But it’s taking too long – we need to act now.

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