Mums’ fear over sex education DVD for seven-year-old pupils

IPSWICH: Furious parents today blasted plans to show a “disturbing” sex education DVD to seven-year-olds.

It is claimed the programme makes explicit references to sexual body parts.

Cliff Lane Primary is looking to follow other schools by introducing it into a new national curriculum aimed at reducing teenage pregnancy.

But mothers said they were horrified when shown the DVD during consulation. Kara Munday, 27, whose five-year-old daughter Jessica goes to Cliff Lane, said she was “very distressed” at the film’s graphic references to intimate areas of both the female and male body.

She said: “They are not reproductive parts of the body.


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“I can’t believe children are going to be taught about that.

“We were disturbed by it.”

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Her friend Emma O’Brien, 26, whose seven-year-old son Harry Livermore attends the school, fumed: “There are some body parts kids don’t need to know yet. They shouldn’t be taught that.”

The pair said they would be terrified of leaving their children alone together in case they experimented with each other.

Miss Munday, of Myrtle Road, said: “We are genuinely concerned that sexual activity would take place because they would be aware of what these parts do and how to make it feel nice.

“Their innocence will be taken away at an early age.”

The personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum was controversially announced in 2008, but was not made compulsory as the bill was rushed through before the General Election.

From the age of five, children could be taught to recognise differences in the male and female body and understand about touch. By six, they may be expected to name and talk about body parts.

Schools are choosing to adopt PSHE, although headteachers can decide how topics are taught based on feedback from parents, pupils and the community.

Parents also have the power to withdraw their children from lessons that fall outside the statutory curriculum.

The DVD, a Channel 4 production called Living and Growing, has not yet been shown to children at Cliff Lane.

It is planned for seven-year-olds, but may now be scrapped.

Bryony Surtees, acting headteacher at Cliff Lane Primary School, said: “We wanted to be open and honest about this sensitive issue, mindful some parents have very strong views on the matter.

“In view of the objections raised, we will be reviewing the inclusion of the DVD. Several other local schools have agreed with parents to include this material.”

n Should children be taught about sex at an early age? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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