Father Withdraws Daughter from School Over Inappropriate Sex Education Lessons

Michael Doherty, a 50-year-old father living in Suffolk, recently made the difficult decision to remove his daughter from her primary school due to what he believes are highly inappropriate sex education lessons. He was shocked by the teaching materials and the way they were presented to the students at Thurston Primary School.

The school had been teaching these lessons for a few years, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, parents were not able to see the specific content.

When Michael requested to see the materials and decided to withdraw his daughter, he was told that it was important for all children to receive this content, which covered topics such as friendships and safety.

However, the headteacher’s claim that the school followed a national curriculum for PSHE relationships only heightened Michael’s concerns. In reality, no such national curriculum exists for this purpose. He discovered that the controversial BBC video shown to the students, as well as other teaching resources, were provided by an external charity called the PSHE Association.

It became clear to Michael that parents need to be involved in the decision-making process regarding the materials used in the classroom. He expressed his frustration, saying, “I feel as a parent they were quite hostile to me. You’re treated like some sort of prude. But I think you need to speak up.”

The video in question depicted topics such as wet dreams, sperm, and orgasms, which Michael found highly inappropriate for fourth graders. Despite the video being taken down later, Sofia’s teacher denied that it had any sexual content and claimed that the year group was not being taught sex education. Michael argued that parental consent should have been obtained before showing these types of videos to students.

Michael initially faced resistance when he requested to withdraw his daughter from the school, but he was eventually able to do so. Currently, Sofia is spending time with her family in Poland and looking for another school. Homeschooling is also being considered as an option.

Since September 2020, Relationships Education has become compulsory in primary schools, and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) is now mandatory in secondary schools. Unfortunately, this led to confusion among teachers seeking guidance on the subject, resulting in the use of materials from charities with unconventional views on biological development.

Mr. Doherty described the teaching of PSHE and RSE as a “sausage factory” and expressed his disappointment with school leaders. He believes that many parents are unaware of what is being shown to their children in school and hopes that they would take similar steps if they knew the potential harm it could cause.

A spokesperson from the Department for Education emphasized that the safety and well-being of children and young people are their top priorities. In response to reports of inappropriate materials, the government has initiated an urgent review of the curriculum and is considering implementing age ratings to ensure appropriate teaching materials. The Education Secretary has also reminded schools that parents have the right to view teaching materials, and copyright law does not prevent them from accessing external resources on school premises.

Thurston Church of England Primary Academy’s spokesperson stated that their PSHE curriculum adheres to the statutory guidance provided by the Department for Education’s policy. The curriculum follows the PSHE Association program of study, which is government-funded and undergoes quality assurance to meet statutory requirements. The school will be reviewing its materials in light of recent concerns.