“Valiant battle”

David Cameron blocks mandatory sex education, angering women in his cabinet

Nicky Morgan and David Cameron (Stefan Wermuth/Getty Images)

British PM David Cameron has reportedly blocked the attempt by his Secretary of Education, Nicky Morgan, to make sex education compulsory at all British schools. The proposal was to support age-appropriate sex and relationships education and compulsory personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), to discuss challenges like internet safety and drugs.

Right now, sex ed in Britain is only compulsory from the age of 11 in maintained schools and not academies (the majority of secondary schools). Morgan’s proposal to change this was  backed by — among others — four parliamentary select committees, five teaching unions, the Chief Medical Officer and no fewer than six medical royal colleges. The move to block the change was understood to be about prioritizing the “rigour agenda”, which is what The Telegraph describes as the British government’s “obsessive attention” to core subjects, where sex education could be an unwelcome distraction.

According to the newspaper, Morgan “waged a valiant battle” to persuade Cameron, but was ultimately unsuccessful, and several other female members of the Prime Minister’s cabinet, including Home Secretary Theresa May and Business Minister Anna Soubry urged him to support a change of policy. One government member reportedly told The Telegraph: “There’s a divide …For me it gets to the heart of why we need more women in politics. It’s not just because it should be fair, it’s just these are the sort of issues which they understand and the men don’t.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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