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Artillery Row

Educational sleazources

The Conservatives need to get a grip on schools

As is so often the case, our schools illuminate what happens when Conservative politicians neglect to defend the values they claim to cherish.

Up until last week, for example, the Government failed to notice that British schoolchildren are being fed radical, unevidenced ideas about sex and gender. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is the revelation that the Government’s own actions made this possible.

A recent report into what is being taught in Relationships and Sex Education in schools, commissioned by Miriam Cates MP, has made some shocking — though unsurprising — discoveries. According to said report, prurient “lessons on oral sex, how to choke your partner safely and 72 genders” are just some of the topics being taught in British schools.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Miriam Cates detailed more of the “sexually extreme” material uncovered. “Topics covered include extreme sex acts, masturbation and misleading information about puberty,” she wrote. Moreover, six-year-olds were taught “rules about touching yourself” and 14-year-olds about rough sex, spanking, choking and BDSM. It is indeed shocking stuff.

Just a cursory glance over the RSE lesson resources on the Times Educational Supplement (TES) website gives credence to Miriam Cates’ findings. One lesson on “pleasure and masturbation” for 11-14-year-olds encourages a discussion on “anal sex (fingers, sex toy or penis)”. Another promotes Gender Theory and, alongside it, a belief in the existence of a multitude of genders. It also encourages children to denounce Jordan Peterson — a prominent opponent of Gender Theory — through discussion of why trans-people find him offensive.

This material has not gone unnoticed by concerned parents. In March last year, sex education on the Isle of Man was suspended at Queen Elizabeth II High School after a parent complained that her son was forced to accept the existence of over 70 genders. As Cates’ report reveals, however, parental complaints go largely ignored, drowned out by bureaucratic process and convenient excuses, resulting in — in the most extreme and egregious cases — scantily dressed drag queens teaching reading to pre-schoolers and children transitioning from one gender to another without parental consent.

Regrettably, such practices do not appear to be exceptional. According to a Policy Exchange report, 73 per cent of those surveyed had been taught Critical Social Justice Theory — of which radical Gender Theory is a key part — without being presented with an alternative perspective.

In addition, The Sex Education Forum (the voice for RSE) lists 47 organisations that provide RSE services to schools and colleges, of which 27 explicitly declare a commitment to Gender Theory and transgender ideology on their websites. The others neither publicly declare a position — their content is behind paywalls — nor express a gender critical or religious view.

The DFE-approved ratifying body for RSE, the PSHE Association, also promotes Gender Theory as fact, and has over 50,000 PSHE professionals as members — not an insignificant number of enthusiastic proselytisers. And let us not forget the residual but stubborn influence of some LEAs, such as Brighton and Hove. They insist that all schools in their areas should teach Gender Theory as indisputable fact.

So the abuse of Relationship and Sex Education to indoctrinate and sexualise our children is real and widespread — a trend both worrying and damaging in equal measure. Most people would agree that anal sex is not something that 11-14-year-olds need to explore, and teaching 10-year-olds about masturbation only encourages an unhealthy and premature preoccupation with sex and sexuality. 

But why is it happening? Well, powerful representatives of the liberal-Left populate our schools and the Third Sector, where many of these questionable materials originate and germinate. They disdain “small-c” conservative values — marriage, the nuclear family, faith et cetera — seeing them as obsolete anachronisms. Children are to be led away from their reactionary influence.

This phenomenon … is depressingly predictable

This phenomenon — the teaching of graphic sexual content and trans ideology in our schools — is, it must be said, depressingly predictable. The fact that the Tories have allowed it to happen is deeply troubling. In 2020, they made RSE compulsory in British schools. However, as Miriam Cates argues, the framework was so unclear that it “opened the floodgates to a whole host of dubious sex education providers” intent on politicising the classroom and instigating radical societal change. Were ministers unaware of O’Sullivan’s Law? Did they not consider the possibility that, if left vague and unclear, the Government’s RSE guidance could be used by radical leftists to further a potentially harmful agenda?

Whatever the answers, the blame must ultimately lie with nominally Conservative ministers. It is their job to formulate educational policy according to long-standing Conservative values and principles. Either through naivety, inertia, ignorance, cowardice, or all the above, they failed miserably. Lessons must be learned.  

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