A BID to delay the introduction of a new sex education agenda in Wales was defeated yesterday.
Traditionally, sex education has been a stand-alone subject in Welsh schools. But now, overnight, it is to be embedded within every single subject within the curriculum.
A High Court judge decided not to allow an injunction sought by a group of 5 parents, supported by Public Child Protection Wales (PCPW) against the RSE (Relationships and Sexuality) curriculum.
However, the matter is far from finished as a full Judicial Review of the new curriculum has been set for November 15 and 16.
Mrs Justice Tipples said there was no evidence at this point that the new curriculum for 3 to 16 year olds would cause ‘irreparable harm’ to children.
She also stated that a delay at this point would prove disruptive to the roll-out of a curriculum on which the Welsh Government has spent £30 million .
Paul Diamond, the barrister representing the parents had argued the new education was an alarming shift away from parents to the State regarding the upbringing of children.
He also said it was a David versus Goliath situation, and ordinary parents standing for what was often their only real legacy in life, i.e. their children.
A spokesman for Gwlad said the party shared the concerns of the parents, and a full Judicial Review of the curriculum in November was very welcome.
‘There are serious questions to be asked about the lack of consultation with parents about this new curriculum, which has been pushed through with no real scrutiny’ he said.
‘£30 million of our money as Welsh tax-payers have been spent on this, but yet how many people here have any real idea of what is involved?’
He added that no one would argue against teaching social and emotional skills, and acceptance of others to children from 3 upwards.
‘But, we know from the experience of Scotland, that a completely unproven, biology-denying gender ideology is also a key part of this new curriculum ‘
‘Along with an expectation that young children have also got to accept this new version of reality as well’.
‘We really don’t think that young children have the cognitive wherewithal at this stage to be able to process all this, and that is a much too heavy burden to place upon them.’
‘This adultification of children is not something out society should be willing to accept’.
The spokesman added that with existing pressures on teachers, it was almost inevitable that outsourcing of teaching to external sources would also have to happen.
‘This could lead to a ‘wild west’ scenario of all kinds of materials being developed for schools again with little or no scrutiny’ he said.
The Welsh Government has prepared a 9,000 word document about the new curriculum, which talks about developing healthy, safe and fulfilling relationships.
But incredibly, there is not a single reference to ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ or ‘man’ or ‘woman’ in the entire document.
Which again seems to indicate the primacy of gender ideology within the curriculum.
Last week, Cyngor Sir Gwynedd were the first local authority to discuss RSE, with 20 councillors eventually expressing their concerns about it.
Several Plaid councillors argued that the new curriculum was a new and organic Welsh initiative. And that the Welsh Government were to be applauded for their approach.
The councillors may well have been perfectly genuine in that belief.
But the truth is that the curriculum has actually been developed by UNESCO and the WHO, and introduced in 58 nations worldwide so far.
Wales is one of the last nations in Europe which has not yet implemented it.
The Public Child Protection Wales group who are opposing the new curriculum have said they believe Wales to be the last bastion in this respect.
The Judicial Review at the High Court in November will make a final decision about the curriculum.
Up until that point the debate is likely to continue both in Wales and beyond.
This week, the Merched Cymru group weighed into the debate saying that Welsh Government have failed to engage or reassure parents and practitioners with a variety of perspectives.
And the Children’s Commissioner in England has also announced she is to review the new curriculum after receiving a host of complaints by concerned parents.
Perhaps the Judicial Review will eventually conclude that too much time and money has been spent to un-do the curriculum at this stage.
But at the very least, it should allow parents an opt-out option for their children should they have genuine concerns about the new curriculum
A right which is is denied them in the present legislation.