Graphic sex-ed policy that encouraged self-stimulation withdrawn after threat of legal action

(Photo: Unsplash/Aaron Burden)

A graphic school sex education policy that encouraged masturbation has been pulled after legal action was threatened. 

The Christian Institute wrote to Warwickshire Council in January warning of legal action if it did not rectify the "catalogue of errors" in the All About Me programme. 

The shocking policy told children aged six to seven that self-stimulation was "really very normal" and said that gender identity "can be best understood as a spectrum". 

Other parts of the policy said that transgender children should "have the right to use whichever toilet or changing room they feel most comfortable using", and that schools should not inform parents if their children would be sharing overnight accommodation on school trips with pupils of the opposite sex who identify as trans. 

The policy also included graphic images, but made no mention of marriage.

The Christian Institute's lawyers wrote to the council to demand that All About Me be withdrawn "with immediate effect" and that schools using the programme be contacted to "make clear to them that their continued adoption of the policy could lead to them breaching their legal obligations".

Council lawyers have now written to the Christian Institute to say that on 26 March new recommendations were adopted stating: "It is proposed that delivery of [All About Me] in primary schools would cease with immediate effect and a stakeholder engagement and communications plan would be included as part of an exit strategy for the closure of [All About Me] delivery."

Schools are to instead use the national resources being developed by the Department for Education (DfE). The DfE curriculum talks about the importance of marriage "for family life and the upbringing of children", and requires schools to deliver Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) with reference to the age and religious backgrounds of pupils. The DfE also requires that schools consult with parents on their RSE lessons.

Warwickshire Council is still reviewing another resource called Respect Yourself that included graphic descriptions of sexual behaviours in a 47-page 'sextionary', and was removed following complaints.

John Denning, Education Officer at The Christian Institute, welcomed Warwickshire Council's climbdown. 

"The highly explicit imagery and one-sided ideology of All About Me has no place in primary relationships education," he said.

"Schools are obviously facing a challenging time at the moment. But as soon as they can, they must consult with parents on a different approach to teaching RSE which complies with the law.

"As with other teaching in state schools, it must be balanced, objective and critical, not pushing particular controversial views such as transgender ideology."