I’m writing to respond to the Welsh Government's consultation Our National Mission: A Transformational Curriculum. I have included responses to certain questions that interest me, below.
Question 1. Do you agree with our approach to legislating for the new curriculum structure?
Yes, and I particularly agree with proposals to legislate to include humanism in RE, and to make relationships and sexuality education compulsory.
Question 6. Do you agree with making age and developmentally appropriate RSE compulsory for 3-16 years?
Yes, because all the evidence demonstrates that such an approach helps to prepare children and young people for their future lives and keep healthy, happy, and safe.
Question 8. Do you agree with our proposals to make RSE optional for learners in sixth forms?
No, because many of the topics within RSE are most relevant to sixth formers, and if the parental right to withdraw children from sex education is retained, then it is particularly important to provide RSE to pupils who are too old for their parents to withdraw them.
Question 9. Do you agree with the proposed approach to RE?
Yes, because such an approach makes sure that RE is objective, critical and pluralistic, as well as relevant to the majority of young people who are today non-religious. However I also think the subject should be renamed to reflect this approach, to ‘Beliefs and Values’ or ‘Religions and Worldviews’.
Question 11. Should the right to withdraw from RE and RSE be retained?
For RSE, noFor RE, yes - because of the continued existence of schools that don’t have to teach balanced RE.
Question 12. If the right to withdraw is to be retained, should it remain with the parent (parent includes those with parental responsibility or those who have care of the child)?
No - those pupils aged 15 or older should control their own right of withdrawal.
Question 19. Do you agree with our approach for the Impact Assessments? We would particularly value your view on the proposed impacts on groups with protected characteristics
Yes - the changes with respect to including humanism in RE will have a hugely positive impact on non-religious pupils.
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