Orthodox delight as sex education plan binned

By Simon Rocker, April 15, 2010

A strictly Orthodox schools spokesman has welcomed the shelving of new proposals on sex education.

The government was forced to drop them because there was insufficient time to get the measures through Parliament before the general election.

Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag, convener of the National Association of Orthodox Schools, said: "I'm delighted they have been thrown out. It would have been impossible for strictly Orthodox schools to have complied with them. It was a collision course and it would not have been responsible to go down such a route."

Parents would have lost the right to withdraw children from sex and relationships classes after the age of 15.

While faith schools would have been able to teach subjects like contraception from their own religious perspective, Schools Secretary Ed Balls said they would not have been able to present their views as "the only ones".

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said that "we had devoted a great deal of time and effort to ensuring that the community's views were represented and reflected in the legislation.  Nevertheless, there were concerns at how broad brush proposals about sex and relationship education might have been applied to our schools."

He added: "We will continue to ensure that a sensitive and sensible approach is adopted in any future policy decisions, whichever party is in government."

Last updated: 4:30pm, April 15 2010