Proposed legislation would give online access to almost all teaching materials, amid fears on content such as transgender issues.
Parents should have a legal right to know what their children are being taught at school, senior lawyers have said.
In a new report, the Society of Conservative Lawyers has proposed legislation that would give parents online access to all teaching materials, except an individual teacher’s lesson plan for a particular class.
It said that although there is a consensus that children should be taught more about sex and relationships, as well as race and equality issues, there was less agreement on what exactly children should learn within those areas.
The report, titled The Forgotten Human Right and written by Anthony Speaight KC, a former chairman of research at the society, and Shannon Hale, a Canadian lawyer, includes a draft bill.
In a foreword, Lord Sandhurst, the society’s current research chair, said that the paper exposed the infiltration of schools by campaigners for social change by means of “gender theory”, “critical social justice theory” and “critical race theory”.
‘Government moved over-cautiously’
He added: “A particular mischief is that these controversial areas are being advanced as fact. Thus, 59 per cent of school leavers say they are being taught at least one of ‘white privilege’, ‘unconscious bias’ and ‘systemic racism’.”
Lord Sandhurst, an elected hereditary member of the House of Lords and a former chairman of the bar, said on Tuesday that legislation needed to be introduced in the new session of parliament that begins next month. “To date,” he said, “the Government has moved over-cautiously.”
The draft bill is not the only proposal seeking to boost parents’ access to curriculum content. A new law, proposed by Miriam Cates, the Tory MP, would make it possible for sex education materials to be shared with parents.
She put forward her Sex Education (Transparency) Private Members’ Bill this summer to put pressure on the Government to legislate on parental rights in obtaining RSE curriculum.
The move comes after one parent, Clare Page, lost a legal battle to obtain sex education materials used at the school attended by her 15-year-old daughter. In a lesson that parents were told would be about sexual consent, Mrs Page’s daughter was taught that “heteronormativity” was a “bad thing”, and that she should be “sex positive” towards relationships.
In March, Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, wrote to all schools stating that “parents should be able to view all curriculum materials”, including in cases “where an external agency advises schools that their materials cannot be shared due to restrictions in commercial law, or a school’s contract with the provider prohibits sharing materials beyond the classroom”.News