We have previously raised concerns over the anti-safeguarding approach of the Welsh government’s Relationships and Sexuality Education Code, now mandatory in all maintained Welsh schools from the age of 3. Now independent research has shown that the Welsh RSE Code was influenced by elements of Queer Theory that should concern parents.
Queer Theory is an academic field of study that aims to dismantle accepted social norms. This may not seem immediately concerning. However in this field any idea can be – and is – challenged, including the idea that children should not be sexually active.
Queer Theory challenges boundaries that are put in place to preserve ‘oppressive’ ideas such as the importance of child safeguarding. This academic discussion is not something that should be allowed to direct the way schools teach children. However the Welsh RSE Code now requires that all schools, cultures, subjects and teachings must be ‘queered’, regardless of any objection.
The Welsh government, led by Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru under a co-operation agreement, has branded concerned parents ‘misguided’ and refuses to consider there may be any basis for legitimate safeguarding concerns. This research has been carried out by citizens of Wales who feel, in the current climate, that they must remain anonymous.
Download the full research report below:
WHAT DO PARENTS NEED TO KNOW?
This new RSE Code was chiefly designed by two academics who subscribe to queer theory, EJ Renold and Ester McGeeney. The Code is based on the idea that queer theory should make its way into the classroom as part of the ‘perpetual revolution’.
Prior to the final version of the Code, two major preparatory documents were written up to justify their changing of the curriculum content and its title from ‘sex’ to ‘sexuality’. These documents contain no testable hypotheses or evidence-based research.
The Code, the supporting documents and linked resources are all analysed and referenced in the full report. They reveal some very concerning points:
- The resources support the idea that children are sexual beings from birth. A tool intended to indicate sexual abuse in minors is used to justify this notion. Any challenge to this is dismissed as ‘protectionist’, homophobic and ‘right wing’.
- The change in the code from ‘age-appropriateness’ to ‘developmental-appropriateness’, suggests that if children are already sexualised and watching pornography, then they are ready to go further.
- The resources make reference to ‘The Good Sex Project’, in which McGeeney cites Gayle Rubin’s ‘Charmed Circle’: here the concept of ‘erotic injustice’ is discussed in relation to the fact that children are prevented from engaging in certain sexual activities such as ‘cross-generational sex’, pornography and prostitution.
- The RSE resources are linked to CRUSH and AGENDA which, in turn, link to BISH and The Proud Trust. BISH’s “Planet Porn” resource is currently available for schools to purchase. This presents pornography as economically liberating for women, as well as anti-racist.
Where does an approach to seeing children as sexual beings end? The academic Jacob Breslow uses it to argue that sex between adults and children is not intrinsically wrong or bad for the child. He defines “queer children.” as ones that “display interest in sex generally… in same-sex erotic attachments, or in cross-generational attachments.” Breslow spoke at a conference in 2011 suggesting that paedophiles did not need to gain consent from a child to have sex with “it”.
Earlier this year Breslow was appointed a trustee at Mermaids, the ‘trans kids’ charity.
- The curriculum and resources do not recognise basic safeguarding principles and practice.
- They reframe indicators of abuse as indicators of sexuality.
- They frame children’s access to and engagement with pornography as a digital right, rather than a source of serious harm.
- They indicate a need for “specialist” third parties (i.e. strangers) to discuss sex and sexuality with children.
- They imply that it may be justifiable for an adult to keep secrets with a child, which goes against fundamental child safeguarding principles.
- They undermine teachers’ responsibility to respond to safeguarding concerns.
- They present children with sexual content and images and encourage them to consider normal developmental behaviour and self-exploration as sexually motivated. This normalises sexual activity for and among children.
The overriding message is given that the only difference between abuse and pleasure at any age is knowledge and consent.
- There is a complete lack of reference to male/female, boy/girl and instead reference, only to ‘identities’.
- Sex is redefined to exclude male and female and instead describe them as genders from a spectrum with which one must identify, separate from sex.
The law is subverted by these redefinitions. For example, removing the lawful definition of sex according to the Equality Act allows the requirement for single sex toilets to be replaced by single gender / all gender i.e. mixed sex.
Learners with SEN
- The Code recommends that RSE content and approach be left entirely to the discretion and control of SEN staff. This leaves disabled learners open to ideological teaching by staff who believe they are educating and informing learners.
Bearing in mind that up to 48% of referrals to the Gender Identity Service (GIDS) were autistic or had autistic traits, it is essential that this area is given more thought and consideration.
WHO DOES THIS GUIDANCE APPLY TO?
It only applies to schools in Wales
The new subjects of Relationships and Sexuality Education must be taught in all:
- maintained schools
- maintained nursery schools
- funded non-maintained nursery schools
- pupil referral units
- whoever provides teaching and learning for a child, otherwise than at a maintained school.
WHICH SUBJECTS MUST NOW BE TAUGHT?
Primary & Secondary – from 3 – 16 years of age.
The RSE Code is comprised of three ‘broad and interlinked’ learning strands:
- relationships and identity
- sexual health and well-being
- empowerment, safety and respect
The Code states that the RSE content in schools “must include learning that develops learners’ awareness and understanding of different identities, views and values and a diversity of relationships, gender and sexuality, including LGBTQ+ lives.”
Download the full report below: