0370 270 6000

Sex education policies - a return to Section 28?

20 August 2013

Following complaints by the British Humanist Association, the DfE are looking at the sex and relationship policies of a number of schools and academies which may contravene the Equality Act 2010 due to the potential for discrimination based on sexual orientation. The contents of the school policies named by the BHA suggest a return to the controversial 'section 28' provision which prohibited teaching that promoted homosexuality. This ban was repealed by Labour in 2003 in a move which had cross-party support. There is concern that a discriminatory approach to teaching in these areas may give rise to a further increase in homophobic bullying.

Whilst current government policy does not promote any form of sexual orientation and allows schools to develop their own policies to suit local circumstances, given the current concerns regarding all forms of bullying, new guidance would be welcomed to clarify the position of all schools on this issue in relation to the Equality Act 2010 and also sex and relationships policies.

Related opinions

60 seconds with… Emma Hughes

With 19 HR experts now supporting over 500 schools and trusts across the country, in this edition of 60 seconds we sit down with Emma Hughes, who leads the team, to discuss what this significant milestone means to her.

View blog

Fines for unsafe removal of asbestos in schools

In order to reduce the risk of potential breaches, schools should follow this Health and Safety Executive guidance.

View blog

Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer

A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

View blog

Head of Education, Mark Blois celebrates 25 years of being an education lawyer

Mark Blois, Browne Jacobson’s national Head of Education, is marking a notable anniversary, an incredible 25 years as an education lawyer.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up