Dawn Primarolo MP's reply to constituents regarding mandatory sex and relationship education in schools:
"Thank you for contacting me in support of statutory sex and relationship education in primary and secondary schools.
My view is that all children should be taught a broad curriculum that prepares them for their future, and that this should include good quality, age-appropriate sex and relationship education. I believe this is key to changing attitudes and behaviour to prevent violence and harassment in relationships and to teach the importance of respect and sexual consent.
Along with my Labour colleagues in Parliament, I have supported calls for the compulsory introduction of sex and relationship education and I know the Sex Education Forum (SEF) have campaigned tirelessly for this. I appreciate that a number of organisations were disappointed that the Government failed to take the opportunity to include age appropriate sex and relationship education at all 4 key stages when they published their new National Curriculum.
As you may know, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary has confirmed that a future Labour Government will introduce compulsory sex and relationship education in all schools. This will be age appropriate and parents will still have the right to withdraw their child up to the age of 16 while from age 16 onwards it will be the pupil’s decision.
You make reference to two Private Members’ Bills on this subject. Both are now scheduled for Second Reading on 27 March but as the House of Commons is not expected to sit on this day they are unlikely to be debated on this date. As you may be aware, Parliament will be dissolved on 30 March ahead of the General Election campaign. I am standing down as an MP on this date so you may wish to contact prospective parliamentary candidates about this issue, or the new MP after the election on 7 May.
Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.
Labour MP for Bristol South"