Government gives pupils sex advice on the roll of a dice The Times 31.08.20

The original article is here.

Schools are being encouraged to teach children as young as 13 about intimate sexual acts using a dice game.

The government has funded a tool kit written by the Proud Trust, an LGBT charity, which includes dice featuring words such as “anus”, “vulva”, “penis” and “hands and fingers”. Children are encouraged to throw the dice twice and talk about the sexual acts that can happen using the two body parts.

The toolkits can be used by schools to help to meet statutory requirements to teach relationships and sex education (RSE) classes as part of reforms introduced for the coming academic year.

As part of the resource, teachers are told to encourage children to talk about lubrication, drawing criticism from parents that it plays down the risks.

The pack tells teachers: “Hold your nerve! Not all combinations will be easy to discuss and some might seem impossible. The aim is to get people talking and to limit assumptions about what kind of sex people have. Every combination is worthy of a conversation!”

In 2017 the Proud Trust was awarded £99,960 for the project, called Sexuality aGender, from the government’s Tampon Tax Fund, which allocates money from VAT receipts on women’s sanitary products to projects that benefit disadvantaged women and girls.

Jackie Doyle-Price, the Tory MP for Thurrock, said: “I fully supported the introduction of RSE into schools as I firmly believed it would be a force for empowering girls to take more control of their bodies and their relationships against a background of increasingly sexualised behaviour in schools and abuse of under-age girls. It is with horror that I see materials being produced which do the exact opposite. Schools should be teaching about mutual respect and consent and safe sex. That such materials have been funded by tampon tax grants is just appalling.”

Tanya Carter, a spokeswoman for Safe Schools Alliance, said: “This ‘resource’ clearly breaches safeguarding. The tampon tax should be used to educate girls on their rights — not prematurely sexualise them.

“When delivering RSE, teachers must be mindful that there will be children in the class who have been or are being sexually abused or exploited and that the lessons will be traumatising for them. It is important that schools widely consult parents and staff to avoid inappropriate materials such as this slipping through the net.”

The toolkits are one of several similar worksheets made by charities for schools that they can use to help to meet their statutory requirements.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, a Conservative peer, wrote to Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, protesting at some of the sheets. She wrote: “Unfortunately, while the guidelines are quite good on what they do want, they do not prohibit anything and in consequence seem to be abused.

“Abdicating responsibility to teachers only for them to abdicate it to minority interest lobby groups is surely unsatisfactory, unhealthy and unsafe.

“You acknowledge the correct role of schools in augmenting teaching about relationships and sex, which is, nonetheless, primarily a matter of parental responsibility.

“It is right for the state to ensure that certain bases are covered. Unfortunately, as offered, the guidelines leave the door open for anyone to teach whatever they want at any age they consider appropriate.”

The Proud Trust could not be reached for comment.

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