RSE – Update #2 – The House of Lords

CViE|4 Apr 2019

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A few things have happened since we last updated you on the passage through parliament of the statutory instrument covering the new RSE guidelines for schools.

  • 25th March – the Statutory Instrument was placed before Parliament (both houses).
  • 27th March – The House of Commons voted 538 to 21 in favour of the new guidelines.
  • 28th March – The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee published their 22nd report which covered the RSE guidelines. This brought the statutory instrument to the ‘special attention‘ of the house meaning that the Lord’s will now debate the topic rather than just vote on it.

Interestingly, since the House of Lord’s committee published this report, time in the House of Lord’s has been taken up with other matters (such as Brexit). The House breaks for the Easter recess next week only returning on 23rd April. As yet no date has been confirmed for the debate on the RSE guidance.

The draft regulations were laid before the house of Parliament on Monday, 25 February 2019 and are required to be approved within 40 days by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. If this does not happen next week, the 40-day deadline will be missed.

It may be that the Lord will use the fact that parliament is distracted by other topics at present to stop the passage of this statutory instrument for now. We must pray on.

The full House of Lords report can be read here.

The Barnabas Fund have provided a very useful update of the situation here. This includes extracts from the house of Lord’s report. Interestingly this highlights the 430 letters received on the topic all expressing concern. The Lord’s committee wrote:

“There was a very widespread concern to protect the right of parents to educate their own children on matters such as relationships and sexual health.”

“Given the significance of these draft Regulations, we draw them to the special attention of the House on the ground that they give rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House.”

The Barnabas Fund are also suggesting that it is still worth writing to members of the House of Lords that individuals may be familiar with. Clearly, the power of such letters has already been proved.

CViE are planning to write to a number of peers and we will share details of the letter in the coming days as it may be of assistance should any of our supporters wish to also write.

We will keep you updated as things develop further. Also, do visit out dedicated RSE webpage for more information on this important topic.

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