A group of parents have lost a court case against teaching children about gender identity and sex in primary schools across Wales.
Campaigners launched a judicial review in the High Court against the Welsh Government’s new relationships and sex education (RSE) curriculum, which they portrayed as “dangerous” and “awakened”.
The RSE curriculum started in September and includes compulsory teaching for pupils from the age of seven. The parents argued that a code and guidelines that support schools to deliver made no mention of traditional ideas regarding family life and brought LGBTQ+ issues to the forefront.
Ms Justice Steyn rejected the legal challenge after a two-day hearing in Cardiff, concluding: “There is nothing in the code or guidance that authorizes or positively approves of education that advocates or promotes one identity or sexual lifestyle over another, or that encourages children to identify themselves in a certain way.”
She said the RSE curriculum aimed to “encourage tolerance between people, regardless of their sexual orientation and identity, and to empower children to deal critically with societal influences so that they develop into responsible and emancipated citizens capable of participating in the democratic processes of a pluralistic society.” She said its introduction was “the product of a process of careful consideration”.
Welcoming the verdict, Jeremy Miles, the Education Minister in the Welsh Government, said: “It has been clear to us that RSE is designed to keep children safe and to promote respect and healthy relationships. Parents should expect that the education their children receive is appropriate to the age and maturity of their children.
“I am appalled at the misinformation deliberately spread by some campaigners, and the additional pressure this has placed on some schools and staff.”
Kim Isherwood, one of the plaintiffs and the chairman of the Public Child Protection Wales campaign, accused the Labour-led Welsh government of an “excess of power”. physical and psychological damage.”
She said they would appeal. “We look forward to another court hearing in the coming weeks, where we will fight all the harder to protect our children from a dangerously derailed agenda.”
Vivienne Laing, from NSPCC Cymru/Wales, welcomed the ruling. She said the inclusion of RSE ensured that each child had information that was relevant, sensitive and age-appropriate for their abilities and needs. “This has lifelong benefits for children and young people by teaching them about healthy and positive relationships, empowering them to recognize abuse and learning about their rights to be kept safe and healthy.”