Today's announcement by the Executive will go some way to allying the concerns of many parents who were alarmed at the repeal of Section 2a.
While this is not a manifesto for marriage or anything like it, at least the new material does recognise certain key points such as the rights of parents to be consulted about sex education classes and if necessary withdraw children from teaching they consider inappropriate. It is for parents now to exercise this vigilance.
It also ensures that the rights and responsibilities of marriage should be included in sex-education classes and it notes that such teaching should be done in the context of religious and moral education.
It should of course be noted that Catholic schools will be largely unaffected by these guidelines since our own material already covers all these areas. Catholic schools, as an integral part of the state system, will expect co-operation from the state in the further development and refinement of curricular matters relating to Catholic schools.
This executive deserves some credit for taking on board the very real concerns of parents of all faiths and none. These documents will offer a degree of reassurance that was not on offer when the announcement of a repeal for section 2a was made.
NOTE FOR EDITORS: Section 2a is the Scottish equivalent of Section 28 in England and Wales.
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