Parents Right to Withdraw their Children From SRE

Parents’ right to withdraw their children from SRE
SRE Guidance - DfES 2000
Page 26, paragraph 5.7:
 'Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the sex
and relationship education provided at a school except for those parts
included in the statutory National Curriculum'.
Draft SRE Guidance - DCSF 2010
1.5 - The legal position on SRE:
 'Schools must teach the statutory requirements of SRE within the National
Curriculum Science Order for all phases. This includes the biological
aspects of naming body parts, puberty, reproduction and infection avoidance
(see sections 2.3 and 3.6)'.
'Section 405 of the Education Act 1996 provides the right of parental
withdrawal from all or part of SRE provided at school except for those parts
included in the National Curriculum (see sections 3.6 and 3.10)'.
1.6 - Changes proposed by statutory PSHE education
 ‘There would continue to be a right for parents to withdraw their children
from SRE, but that right would no longer apply when a child attains the age
of 15 (currently the parents’ right of withdrawal applies to all school pupils up
to the age of 19)'
2.6.1 - Building dialogue between home and school
 ‘Parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from SRE taught
outside of the science national curriculum – but if they choose to
withdraw their children from school provision they have a responsibility to
provide alternative SRE. The school’s SRE policy should set out clearly how
parents are informed of their right of withdrawal from SRE and how the
school will support them in fulfilling their responsibility to provide SRE at
2.6.2 - Practical strategies for supporting parents and carers in their
responsibility for SRE
 ‘Where good communication about SRE has been established, the numbers
of parents choosing to withdraw from SRE are usually very low or zero.
Where parents choose to withdraw their children from SRE schools should
discuss the alternative arrangements that parents are making to provide
SRE themselves and offer support to parents in fulfilling their responsibility.
Schools will need to balance the rights of the parents and the rights of their
pupils. An open partnership approach, working in the best interests of the
child, is recommended’.
3.6 - Content
 ‘SRE is not currently a separate National Curriculum subject in its own right,
although the Government has included provisions within the Children,
Schools and Families Bill to make PSHE education a statutory subject within
the National Curriculum (see para 1.6 above). Currently, its content is
included in: the statutory programmes of study for Science (key stages
1-4); the non-statutory framework for PSHE education and Citizenship (key
stages 1&2); and the non-statutory programmes of study for personal wellbeing (key stages 3&4). Setting SRE within a framework for PSHE
education helps children and young people develop a rich understanding of
five key concepts, which underpin the personal well-being strand of PSHE
education at Key Stages 3 and 4’.
Summary by Meg Martin (Regional Subject Adviser for PSHE education)
March 2010