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PSHE Association questions decision to remove key Channel 4 Learning SRE resource

09 July 2012

The PSHE Association is disappointed at the decision by Channel 4 Learning to remove its well respected and established ‘Living and Growing’ Sex and Relationships (SRE) resource from its catalogue.

Channel 4 Learning states that this decision is ‘as a direct result of the Government’s announcement that the PSHE curriculum is under review’ and that they want to ‘ensure customers are purchasing educational resources that reflect government’s current policy’.

As the existing policy is still valid until the review recommendations are published and implemented, we question the timing and are concerned that the decision may have less to do with the PSHE Review (launched back in July 2011) and more to do with vociferous lobbying of the Department for Education by a small but influential number of politicians, parents, and right wing religious groups.

These groups do not represent the views of all parents. The majority of parents want their children to receive comprehensive SRE teaching at school.

Although these unrepresentative groups continue to pressure the Government on sex education, it is really important to ensure that children have the correct biological vocabulary for their bodies if they are to look after themselves, keep themselves safe and manage puberty.

As reported by the Daily Mail in June and referred to in Schools Minister Nick Gibb's response to SPUC dated July 5th, he and Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom held a special meeting with Channel 4 executives to express their concerns about the 'Living and Growing' resource.

If this intervention influenced Channel 4 Learning’s decision then such forms of censorship set a dangerous precedent. Teachers need high quality and effective resources – of which this is one - to help them teach SRE with confidence.

Dr John Lloyd Policy Adviser PSHE Association said that he is "extremely disappointed that Channel 4 Learning have made this decision about a resource that has been tried, tested and well received since the early 1990s in many schools with the full support of parents".

This and other appropriate resources are intended to be used within the context of a well planned and delivered SRE programme, located within a broader, carefully planned programme of PSHE education.

SRE is designed to gradually and appropriately prepare young people for adult life but there is an abundance of incorrect information about what SRE entails.

The PSHE Association has also responded to the draft primary science curriculum and expressed concern that aspects of SRE have been reduced to 'very superficial learning'.

The PSHE Association considers SPUC's recent statement: 'Minister confirms that schools are not required to teach children about sex in science lessons' in response to Nick Gibb's aforementioned letter, to be misleading and unhelpful given that the programmes of study for primary National Curriculum science are draft only at this stage and intended as a basis for discussion with stakeholders and interested parties.

These discussions will inform further changes and there will then be a further full public consultation before the documents are finalised. Organisations wishing to comment on the draft programmes of study may do so by emailing:

If you are a parent or interested party and have questions or concerns about SRE – and other aspects of PSHE education - please read our information sheets for parents.

  • PSHE Association response to draft Primary Science curriculum.pdf
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