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MPs to debate sex and relationship education

On Monday 25 February MPs will debate a petition urging the Government ensure parents can opt their child out of relationship and sex education. Helen Jones MP, the Chair of the Petitions Committee, will open the debate.                                                                                                                           

The petition, which has more than 104,000 signatures, states: “We believe it is the parent’s fundamental right to teach their child RSE topics or to at least decide who teaches them and when and how they are taught. We want the right to opt our children out of RSE when it becomes mandatory in Sept 2020.”

The petitioner adds: “We have grave concerns about the physical, psychological and spiritual implications of teaching children about certain sexual and relational concepts proposed in RSE and believe that they have no place within a mandatory school curriculum.”

In response to the petition, the Government said: “As primary educators, parents must be consulted on their school’s curriculum for Relationships, and Relationships and Sex Education and may request their child’s withdrawal from Sex Education.

“Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world, living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive opportunities, but also challenges and risks. Pupils need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.”

Monday’s debate will provide an opportunity for MPs to question a Government Minister directly on this topic.

Petition details

  • Give parents the right to opt their child out of Relationship and Sex Education – view on petition map
  • Read the House of Commons library briefing:

Follow the debate:

Where in the country was this petition signed?

  • The top 10 parliamentary constituencies that supported the petition are as follows (as at 20 February 2018)



Signature count

Birmingham, Hodge Hill

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP


Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP


Blackley and Broughton

Graham Stringer MP


Birmingham, Hall Green

Mr Roger Godsiff MP


Bradford West

Naz Shah MP


Birmingham, Ladywood

Shabana Mahmood MP


Bradford East

Imran Hussain MP



Kate Hollern MP


Finchley and Golders Green

Mike Freer MP


Ilford South

Mike Gapes MP



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