Schools are bound by the Equality Act 2010, including the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), to ensure that education is accessible to all children and young people, including those who are LGBT. We are also clear that as part of schools’ duty to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, all young people should be provided with a curriculum that prepares them for success in adult life.
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 requires the government to make regulations to provide for primary schools to teach relationships education and for secondary schools to teach relationships and sex education (RSE). The Act also provides a power to make personal, social, health and economic (PHSE) education mandatory in all state-funded schools.
We have begun an engagement process with a wide range of expert stakeholders, including those representing the interests of LGBT groups, to help reach evidence-based decisions on the content of the regulations and guidance, as well as further consideration of the status of PSHE. Stakeholders include Stonewall, Terrence Higgins Trust, PSHE Association, Sex Education Forum, Barnardo’s, NSPCC and representatives of faith education providers. This week, we launched a call for evidence to gather the views of teachers, parents, and young people.
Draft regulations and the guidance will be published for consultation in 2018. The regulations will then be laid alongside final draft guidance allowing for a full and considered debate in Parliament.