Rationale and Context for Education in Sex and Relationships
Following the Guiding Principles, the Catholic character of the school requires that, in the specific area of Education in Relationships and Sex, the leadership and management of St Mary's Catholic Primary School, working with foundation governors, will:
▪ ensure that the school seeks to remain faithful to Catholic belief and teaching on matters of faith and morality.
▪ promote Catholic belief and teaching concerning human dignity and relationships and, in particular, encourage an understanding of and respect for the sanctity of human life, the virtue of chastity, and the sacrament of marriage.
▪ oversee the delivery of education in relationships and sex to guarantee its faithfulness to the belief and teaching of the Catholic Church (this includes the content of teaching and resources) so that it excludes anything which risks reducing the understanding of sexuality to the level of a mere bodily function, biological process or recreational activity.
▪ recognise the primary role of parents in the education of their children and, ‘in particular, sex education is a basic right of the parents and must always be carried out under their close supervision.’ The school recognises that education in relationships and sex is done in the name of parents, with their consent and with their authorisation. Consequently, any school based education in relationships and sex must always be carried out in direct consultation with parents.
▪ demonstrate pastoral sensitivity for the cultural, personal and family circumstances of children and young people while maintaining the integrity of Catholic belief and teaching.
▪ enable the formation of children and young people through a consistent application of Catholic belief and teaching on matters of faith and morality across the whole curriculum and from all staff.
▪ monitor the involvement and teaching of external agencies/visiting speakers, and the distribution of resources within school provided by them – in order that all presentations and content are in accordance with the belief and teachings of the Catholic Church.
The following rationale is informed by the Bishops’ Conference Low Week statement from 1987 and the policy statement of the Diocese of Lancaster on education in personal relationships from 2010.