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10 July 2012
The PSHE Association is dismayed 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.
As reported by the Daily Mail in June, Schools Minister Nick Gibb and Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom held a special meeting with Channel 4 executives to express their concerns about the 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 saidthat 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.
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.