Page last updated at 23:26 GMT, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 00:26 UK

MPs reject Labour calls for compulsory sex education

Shadow health minister Diana Johnson called for personal, social and health education (PSHE), including sex education, to be included on the curriculum of all schools, including academies, as MPs continued their debate on the Academies Bill at committee stage on 21 July 2010.

She said the Tories blocked PSHE being made compulsory during the "wash-up" period in the dying days of the last parliament.

Ms Johnson told MPs: "There was huge disappointment among parliamentarians and other organisations about the failure of the last parliament to legislate on this issue due to the Conservative Party not accepting the PSHE clauses at wash-up in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

"I think there is now a real opportunity for an early win for the Conservative and Lib Dem benches on this vital issue for our young people who are going to be educated in academies."

Education Minister Nick Gibb said the funding agreement for academies would require the schools to teach English, maths and science as part of a "broad and balanced curriculum".

Beyond that "they will be able to choose a curriculum that engages and meets the needs of their pupils".

He dismissed the call to make PSHE compulsory, arguing it would mean "imposing greater requirements on academies in this respect than on maintained schools".

Labour pushed the amendment to a division, but lost by 314 votes to 200.

You can see part one of the debate here .


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