What can you do if, for example, your child comes home from school and says that they are having to read books or watch DVD’s about ‘yucky sex stuff’, and/or promoting same-sex marriage, or groups like Rainbow Youth or Family Planning are coming to the school to do a presentation?
(If you are unaware of the material that Rainbow Youth and Family Planning encourage your children to view and listen to, watch this important presentation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IeKSCHXs-0 )
The Education Act 1989 (as quoted below) says you can withdraw your children from these sessions!
Note: This doesn’t apply to integrated schools – (probably the reason you have your child in an integrated school in the first place!)
Read the Legislation:
EDUCATION ACT 1989
25A Release from tuition on religious or cultural grounds
(1) A student aged 16 and above, or the parent of a student aged under 16, may ask the principal to release the student from tuition in a particular class or subject.
(1A) A request under subsection (1) must be made in writing, and at least 24 hours before the start of the tuition.
(1B) This section applies only to students enrolled at a State school that is not an integrated school.
(2) Unless satisfied that—
(a) the parent or student (as the case may be) has asked because of sincerely held religious or cultural views; and
(b) the student will be adequately supervised (whether within or outside the school) during the tuition,—
the principal shall not release the student.
(3) Upon receiving a request from a parent under subsection (1), the principal must, before agreeing to release the student, take all reasonable steps to find out the student’s views on the matter.
(4) Subject to subsection (2), the principal shall release the student from the tuition and (if the student is to be supervised outside the school) let the student leave the school during the tuition unless satisfied, in the light of—
(a) the student’s age, maturity, and ability to formulate and express views; and
(b) any views the student has expressed,—
that it is inappropriate to do so.
READ THE LEGISLATION
25AA Release from tuition in specified parts of health curriculum
(1) The parent of a student enrolled at any State school may ask the principal in writing to ensure that the student is excluded from tuition in specified parts of the health curriculum related to sexuality education and, on receipt of such a request, the principal must ensure that—
(a) the student is excluded from the relevant tuition; and
(b) the student is supervised during that tuition.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) requires a principal to ensure that a student who is to be excluded from tuition in specified parts of the health curriculum related to sexuality education is excluded at any other time while a teacher deals with a question raised by another student that relates to the specified part of the curriculum.
READ THE LEGISLATION and seek legal advice if you need further clarification.