HC Deb 04 November 1993 vol 231 cc391-2W
Mr. Thurnham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what procedures are being adopted to monitor the numbers of parents exercising their right to withdraw

Expenditure on discretionary awards (£000 in current and 1983–84 prices3
1983–84 1990–91 1991–92
Current prices Current prices 1983–84 prices Current prices 1983–84 prices
City of London 1 205.9 139.1 25.5 16.0
Camden n/a n/a 746.9 469.9
Greenwich 353.7 239.0 770.4 484.8
Hackney 1,166.3 788.0 1,275.2 802.4
Hammersmith and Fulham 3,043.2 2,056.2 728.5 458.4
Islington 57.0 38.5 1,088.8 685.1
Kensington and Chelsea 452.9 306.0 683.7 430.2
Lambeth 984.7 665.3 572.5 360.2
Lewisham 808.2 5486.1 1,058.8 666.2
Southwark 709.1 479.1 795.2 500.4
Tower Hamlets 860.9 581.7 550.2 346.2
Wandsworth 3,676.5 2,484.1 2n/a n/a
City of Westminster 244.0 164.9 1,221.2 768.4
ILEA/LRB4 13,637.4 6,254.8 4,226.2
Barking 231.0 248.5 167.9 453.8 285.6

their children from sex education lessons; to what extent these procedures will be based on the precedent created by the parental right of withdrawal of children from religious education; how many parents exercised this right in 1992 in relation to religious education; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth

My right hon. Friend will look to the Office of Standards in Education (OFSTED) to monitor and advise on the quality and effectiveness of sex education, as part of OFSTED's overall responsibilities for school inspections. We have no plans separately to monitor centrally the extent to which parents choose to withdraw their children from sex education. This information is not collected centrally in relation to religious education and collective worship.

Mr. Thurnham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the target date for the implementation of the parental right to withdraw children from sex education; what is the timetable for consultation on the departmental guidelines relating to sex education; which groups and individuals will be consulted; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth

The new arrangements for sex education introduced under section 241 of the Education Act 1993, including the parental right of withdrawal, will come into effect from the start of the autumn term 1994. We plan to issue detailed guidance to schools next spring about these arrangements, in the light of responses to the consultative draft which will issue shortly to local authority associations, local education authorities and other interested parties.