HC Deb 08 July 1971 vol 820 cc1499-500
5. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will call for reports from all local education authorities about the method, content and availability of sex guidance and education being given in their schools.

Mrs. Thatcher

No, Sir. Her Majesty's Inspectorate look at the provision of sex education in schools as part of their regular work and through their review of health education.

Mrs. Short

Does the right hon. Lady recall the sad case of the Bradford child whose difficulties were resolved thanks to the generosity of the Calthorpe clinic in Birmingham? Does she recall that one of the most distressing features of that case was that the child had received no information either from her parents or from school? Will she look again at the implications of this and satisfy herself that all local education authorities are carrying out their duties towards their teenage boys and girls?

Mrs. Thatcher

I do not recollect that case. I do not have it in front of me, and it is not referred to in the Question. Curriculum matters are for local education authorities and, as the answer to the Question specifies, Her Majesty's Inspectorate keep these matters under review as part of their ordinary work.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Ignoring the crude and irrelevant propaganda of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short), may I return to the Question and ask my right hon. Friend to ensure that programmes of sex education, which I think are a good thing, are planned in co-operation with parents?

Sir G. Nabarro

Speak for yourself!

Mrs. Thatcher

It is both the wish of the Department and the practice of local education authorities that the co-operation of parents is secured before the programmes are shown to children.