BY LUCY LETHBRIDGE
CATHOLIC TEACHERS have welcomed the publication of new guidelines on sex education that will stress the moral and family values that "lie at the heart of education".
Education Secretary John Patten, a Catholic, this week launched a draft circular on sex education in schools which stressed that "no school should be a value-free zone".
Mark Philpot, teacher at St Richard Gwyn school in North Wales and Secretary of the Catholic Teachers Association, said: "We are wholly in favour of the idea that sex and health education should be placed in the context of family life and relationships".
Among the issues that the circular sets out for consultation is that the governing bodies of all maintained schools should make a written statement of their policy on sex education available to parents.
Sr Moira Cashmore FCJ, principal of St Augustine's Primary School, Middlesbrough, told the Catholic Herald that the governors of St Augustine's were examining ways to approach the subject
of sex education and stressed "we always seek permission of the parents first".
As part of the drive to ensure that sex is taught in the context of relationships, teaching about HIV and AIDS has been removed from the science section of the National Curriculum.
Fr Harry Stratton, Chairman of a Catholic Education Service working party on sex education, said that he and his colleagues were "anxious that sex education should not be a separate subject".
See Education page 7