Kate Loveys and
Last updated at 12:28 PM on 9th March 2011
Explicit cartoons, films and books have been
cleared for use to teach sex education to schoolchildren as young as five.
A disturbing dossier exposes a wide range of
graphic resources recommended for primary school lessons.
The shocking material – promoted by local
councils and even the BBC – teaches youngsters about adult language and sexual
Among the books singled out in the report is
How Did I Begin? by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom which has a cartoon image
of a couple in bed in an intimate embrace.
It is accompanied by an explanation – using
frank and adult terminology – of the act of intercourse.
Another, called The Primary School Sex And
Relationships Education Pack by HIT UK, includes material to allow children aged
five to 11 to learn about different sexual positions and prostitution.
The BBC has been highlighted for an
educational video featuring full frontal nudity, while its learning resources
department, BBC Active, shows computer-generated images of male genitalia.
All the material has been recommended by
councils for use at ages ‘seven-plus’.
The dossier, compiled by the Christian Institute, also pinpoints a book called Let’s Talk About Sex, by Robie H Harris, which includes a chapter on heterosexuality called ‘Straight and Gay’.
Furious family campaigners have described the
material as ‘too much, too young’ and warn it will encourage sexualisation.
Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said: ‘The current approach to sex education demands ever more explicit sex education at ever younger ages.
Controversial: A worrying dossier exposes a range of graphic resources recommended for primary school lessons. Books singled out include Let’s Talk About Sex, which includes a chapter on heterosexuality called ‘Straight and Gay’ - and How Did I Begin?, which has a cartoon image of a couple in bed in an intimate embrace
‘Parents don’t want their children to be
exposed to material which sexualises them and most would be deeply upset if
these materials were used with their primary-aged child.
‘If public bodies believe these resources are
suitable for young children, there is clearly a problem with their judgment and
more control needs to be given to parents.’
The Christian Institute identified 16 councils which have recommended explicit books and videos to schools.
These include Derby City, Devon County, Swindon County, Worcestershire County, Hampshire County, Birmingham City and Brighton and Hove, many of which have links to the material on their websites.
At present, primary and secondary schools have to teach pupils ‘age-appropriate’ science lessons about the biology of sex.
Schools must also have a sex education policy,
although the subject is compulsory only in secondary education. However, the
Coalition is reviewing sex education.
Before the election, the Liberal Democrats
said they ‘unreservedly’ supported mandatory sex education in primary schools.
But in its report, the Christian Institute
warns ministers that compulsory sex education would lead to the proliferation of
It states: ‘If sex education is made
compulsory for primary schools, the publications highlighted in this report are
the kind of materials that will be used with children as young as five.’
Last night, Swindon Council was unapologetic
about its recommendation of the material.
It confirmed it recommended Let’s Talk About
Where Babies Come From and Let’s Talk About Sex, both by Robie H Harris, and a
Channel 4 DVD called All About Us Living And Growing.
A spokesman said the material was recommended
‘to schools and governors as part of a much wider range of resource options for
teaching sex and relationship education. It is up to individual schools and
their governors whether they feel any of the resources are appropriate’.
It said it did not have information on whether
any of the resources were being used in class.
Too much too young? 'Most parents would be deeply upset if these materials were used with their primary-aged child' says the Christian Institute
In How Did I Begin?, which was highlighted in
the Christian Institute report, the image of a couple in bed is accompanied by
the explanation: ‘As they cuddled, your dad’s penis moved gently inside your
mum’s vagina and the sperms flowed out.’
The pack produced by HIT UK, meanwhile,
encourages primary aged children to learn about ‘anal intercourse’, ‘oral sex’
Labour had planned to amend legislation to
introduce sex education topics into the National Curriculum for primary schools,
which would have led to schools teaching pupils about contraception and civil
partnerships from age seven.
The Department for Education said: ‘By law,
schools must make sure that sex and relationship education (SRE) classes are
appropriate to pupils’ ages and maturity. It’s down to teachers themselves to
use their professional judgment in deciding this.
‘Parents retain the right to pull their
children out of any SRE class, outside statutory science, if they are unhappy
Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust,
said the use of explicit teaching tools was ‘deeply concerning’ and eroded
‘traditional moral standards’.
He said: ‘It is vital that schools remain
accountable to parents at the local level and, in line with the law, ensure that
children are protected from inappropriate teaching and materials, having regard
for their age and religious and cultural background.
'Too many local authorities are taking their
lead from the Sex Education Forum – a body that includes organisations that
encourage sexual experimentation and aim to break down traditional moral
‘Introducing sex education at an early age
runs the risk of breaking down children’s natural sense of reserve. Far from
being a hindrance, children’s natural inhibitions and sense of modesty in
talking about sexual matters are healthy and provide a necessary safeguard
against both sexual abuse and casual attitudes towards sexual intimacy later
BBC Active said: ‘We would stress that we leave it up to individual schools and parents to decide what material is appropriate.’