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Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education: Pornography Concern

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Dear Staffordshire County Council,
Can you confirm that Schools in Staffordshire are individually responsible for the planning and delivery of the RSE aspect of the curriculum? I have been advised that there is no guidance published by Staffordshire County Council as you expect schools to follow the statutory guidance.

You are probably aware that there is considerable concern among parents at much of the guidance being provided to schools by outside bodies. Also, there is considerable pressure on schools to use outside materials which have been 'endorsed' by DoE in a variety of ways, and yet the materials are produced by organisations that have agendas inconsistent with the aims of sensitive R and S education, and the material is unsuitable. Much of the material mirrors pornography.

The highly regarded Safe Schools Alliance (supported by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne) has managed to persuade some schools and LEA's to withdraw materials for further careful review and discussion since compliance has been set back to September 2021.

In the context of the above concerns, may I ask: 1) if you are aware of these concerns; and 2) what action is in hand in the County of Staffordshire to ensure that RSE teaching materials are appropriate?

Yours faithfully,

Terence Stock

Staffordshire County Council

Dear Terence Stock,
 
Thank you for your request for information received by Staffordshire
County Council on 24/07/2020.
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days. 

**Coronavirus (COVID-19)**

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If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact us.
Please remember to quote the case reference number above in any future
communications.
Yours sincerely,
 
Access Team

Portch, David (Corporate), Staffordshire County Council

Dear Terence Stock

Thank you for your request for information.

Please find information provided by the relevant service team(s) below.

1) We are not aware of the concerns. The guidance that schools should follow states: All schools should work closely with parents when planning and delivering these subjects. Schools should ensure that parents know what will be taught and when, and clearly communicate the fact that parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE.

2) The curriculum content is the responsibility of schools. The guidance indicates that schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure that it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils, and sensitive to their needs. The government guidance contains a list of some of the resources, which are available free-of-charge.

If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handled by our authority you should contact us in the first instance.  Send your comment or complaint to:

Access Manager, Access Team, Staffordshire County Council, 2 Staffordshire Place, Stafford ST16 2DH or email [email address]

If you then have any further comments relating to how your request has been handled by our authority, please contact the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Regards
  
David Portch

Access Team
Staffordshire County Council
1 Staffordshire Place
Stafford
ST16 2DH

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