On Wednesday 10th May the Women and Equalities Select Committee held an evidence session on the Government’s Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) review, and invited Safe Schools Alliance UK to participate.

The aim of the session was “to explore the RSHE review and how it is being conducted, what RSHE should include, how it should be delivered and how schools and the Government should manage situation where there are conflicts between views on RSHE.”

Our spokeswoman Tanya Carter gave evidence on our behalf, alongside Lucy Marsh from the Family Education Trust and Lottie Moore from Policy Exchange. The session was chaired by Kate Osborne (Lab) and Carolyn Harris (Lab); Mark Jenkinson (Con); Kim Johnson (Lab) and Ms Anum Qaisar (SNP) were also present and able to ask questions.

We found the questioning by some of the panel to be notably biased. Kate Osborne MP appeared to believe that attempts to safeguard children must inevitably mean that LGB and trans-identified children are not supported or accepted. The questioning from Carolyn Harris MP here fails to grasp that objecting to unsuitable RSHE providers that link to articles on butt plugs and bondage does not mean that we object to all RSHE.

What is suitable for RSHE to cover?

Kate Osborne MP wonders in the below clip why schools should have to give parents access to RSHE materials, given this doesn’t happen with any other lesson materials. Lucy Marsh pointed out that parents did not need to worry that children might be taught about strangulation and anal sex in their geography lesson. Tanya Carter talked about Safer Recruitment, which was introduced precisely because it is known that predators often attempt to work with children. The current unregulated state of RSHE provision gives them a perfect opportunity to do this.

Tanya added: “This is a very serious medical, safeguarding and lobbying scandal that has unfolded under the Conservative government, and… the opposition, rather than challenging the government for their severe failures, are challenging the whistleblowers who are trying to draw attention to that.”

Lucy pointed out further that the government had committed to ensure that schools shared RSHE materials with parents back in 2015. Clearly this is still not happening.

Schools sharing RSHE materials

Kate Osborne states here that a concern over what children are being taught in schools feels to her as if we are “going back a little bit”; she likens the attempt to scrutinise RSHE to ‘Section 28’ which banned any materials that normalised homosexuality in schools in the 80s. We find this comparison unwarranted, offensive and wilfully blind to the reality of what gender ideology is doing to same-sex attracted young people.

Section 28

Tanya Carter explains here that the objective of RSHE is to safeguard children by providing them with factually accurate and appropriate information.

The Objective of RSHE

Tanya’s evidence was widely reported in the press, including The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, TES magazine, The Critic and The Irish News.

The video recording of the full session can be viewed on our Facebook page.

A video and transcript of the session has been published by the House of Commons and can be found here.

One thought on “Evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee

  1. Well done ladies. Thank you for efforts to protect children. Yes, the questioning was very biased, particularly from the Chair.

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