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31 January 2018

Poll: parents should be at the heart of new relationships education proposals

Poll: parents should be at the heart of new relationships education proposals

Both new national polling and a survey by the Evangelical Alliance shows that the general public, and Christians in particular, want parents at the heart of new relationships education proposals. A vast majority of respondents want parents informed of the curriculum content ahead of time and to know who is delivering classes.

This comes as the Government is consulting on what form compulsory relationships education should take for primary school pupils, after making the decision last year that it should be mandatory.

We’re encouraging our supporters to respond to the consultation which closes on Monday, 12 February 2018. You can learn more about the consultation and how you can respond here.

As part of the Evangelical Alliance’s work responding on this consultation, we commissioned a national poll by ComRes, exploring attitudes to relationships education, and surveyed a panel of Christians on these same issues.

Key highlights include:

  • 78 per cent of adults in Britain back parents having access to the content of relationships education classes ahead of time. This figure was 93 per cent among Christians in the Alliance’s survey.
  • Another finding shows that nationally four out of five people agree that parents should be notified if external organisations are contributing to the lessons. In the Alliance survey this number was 92 per cent.
  • Two thirds (65 per cent) of adults think that parents are the most appropriate people to decide when primary school children should learn about sexual activity and sexual orientation. This number was 75 per cent among Christians in the Alliance survey.

Dr David Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance said: “Parents know their children best, and when it comes to teaching about relationships, they are clearly the right people to make the ‘what and when’ decisions about such issues.

When it comes to teaching sensitive issues around sex and relationships, it’s clear that the role of the state and politics should be limited.

“Teaching children to build strong relationships with family and friends is important for society and we would encourage the Government to make this the heart of relationships education. Local schools should work closely with parents to make this the cornerstone of this initiative.”