Welsh Parents Lose Bid to Block New Sex Education Curriculum

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
September 1, 2022 Updated: September 1, 2022

A group of parents have lost a legal challenge to stop a new sex education curriculum from being taught across Wales from September.

Public Child Protection Wales, a parent’s group, sought a High Court injunction on Aug. 23 asking the Welsh government to delay the rollout of the compulsory Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), which they worry will sexualise children as young as 7 and push gender ideology on them.

The group also called for an opt-out for parents to remove their children from the mandatory classes.

But a High Court judge refused the application, saying the claimants did not show any evidence of their children being harmed during the injunction period.

The judge also ordered the claimants to pay £12,000 ($13,851) towards the cost of the Welsh government defending the injunction application.

‘No Evidence’ of Harm

Earlier this year, one of the parents, Kim Isherwood, applied for a judicial review of the policy on behalf of 5,000 parents and grandparents, which was granted by the High Court, but the hearing is scheduled in November, two months after the RSE is due to be rolled out.

The parents filed for the injunction in the hope that a judge could order a temporary ban on RSE until the judicial review is heard.

But Mrs. Justice Tipples rejected their claim, saying that there is “no evidence” children would suffer any harm as a result of the sex education programme.

She also said the court could not order the Welsh government to excuse individual children from the curriculum because there is no legislative authority to do so.

“There is a very strong public interest in the implementation of the code and the guidance, which is a consequence of the legislative decisions of the Welsh Parliament,” the judge said.

The Welsh government, controlled by the Labour Party, said: “All schools which are rolling out the curriculum from September will teach RSE in a developmentally appropriate way as required by the legislation.”

“This means all learners in these schools will receive RSE, which is critical to keeping them safe,” said a government spokeswoman.

‘Irrational Ideologies’

Paul Diamond, representing the claimants, said they were four mothers and a father “fighting for their children as any parent would.”

“They feel weak, powerless, and believe it is a David versus Goliath conflict, but children are often their only legacy in life,” he said.

The parents fear that their children and other children would be “irreparably damaged,” he said.

“Our society is consumed with irrational ideologies, a lack of tolerance, and cancel culture. There is an atmosphere of fear and lack of free speech and a culture without freedom,” he added.

Lily Zhou, Owen Evans, and PA Media contributed to this report.