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1445 ذو الحجة 11 | 18 يونيو 2024

5 Ways to Address Schools and the RSE Framework

5 Ways to Address Schools and the RSE Framework
Zainab Kamal 9 July 2023

As British Arabs who hold great weight in society, it is our duty to collectively address the issues that arise from the induction of the new RSE framework without limitations. Having only been introduced to learners since 2020, the new Sex and Health education curriculum has been subject to errors and mistakes from publication to its application within the classroom. For this reason, we need to speak up and highlight its implications on our children, the future and torchbearers of British society.

Here are 5 ways you can address this:

 

  1. Your child is your priority

5 Ways to Address Schools and the RSE Framework
(Unsplash)

In the current climate of education, it goes without saying that our children spend more time with teachers and peers than at home. It is our responsibility to ensure that our children do not get negatively influenced or receive misinformation from school regarding what is considered right and wrong, Islamically appropriate or not, or culturally sensitive or not. It is within our right to raise our children as we wish, to negate concepts of LGBTQ yet raise respectful, tolerant children. Consider your child’s age and how transparent you are with them, and, most importantly, show trust so that your child is comfortable talking to you about sensitive issues. You should be your child’s number one source of information.

 

2. Read and re-read the RSE framework of education on the Gov.uk website.

Do not give in to the scaremongering on social media regarding how sex and health education is taught in schools. Each person will come out on their personal social media to speak from experience, and while that can be negative, schools will vary on how they apply the curriculum. We cannot paint all schools with the same brush. Read the framework and let that be your point of reference. Schools are not allowed to teach ‘how to be a homosexual’ as is trending and scares parents. If this is observed in schools, it needs to be reported, as there is no place in the framework that states schools should teach homosexuality. The RSE framework aims to promote the tolerance and acceptance of such communities alongside other topics. The framework is also divided into two parts, health and relationship, and states which topics should be addressed at which key stage. You’ll know what your child is learning depending on his/her age by reading the RSE framework.

 

3. Know the sequence of complaints.

Schools will have a system to deal with complaints. Familiarize yourself with the system, but make sure it’s in writing. Send an email to either pastoral care, the deputy head, or the headteacher, stating that you wish to take your child out of RSE (health and/or relationships), stating reasons such as it not being age-appropriate, your responsibility to teach it yourself at home, it not being Islamically compliant and therefore prohibiting religious freedoms. In your email, make sure to state that you respect people from all walks of life, but that people’s relationships and lifestyle choices should not be exposed to children at such a sensitive age as it can indoctrinate rather than teach respect. Your email should state what you need the school to do, demanding action. For example, ‘I do not give consent to my child attending these lessons (state which)’ and ‘please consider revising the RSE framework, how it’s applied at your school, and what effects it can have in the long run on our children’. The school may or may not be accommodating; however, it is still important to complain so that the school understands that there are opposing views. If you do decide to have your child skip school anyway, you need to know that it will be considered unauthorised absence.

 

4. Write to your MP!

5 Ways to Address Schools and the RSE Framework
(Unsplash)

As a resident of your council, it is extremely important that you are active in making where you live a better place. The MP’s role is to convey your voice to parliament, especially if there are many voices that want to object to certain laws. Parliament bills are constantly subject to change depending on how well they work. Through action and putting pressure on people in power, we can get the RSE framework to be revised. When you write to your MP, state that you have the right to practice your religion freely, that granting a group of people freedoms over another is political blindness, and that it goes against the essence of having diverse and equal communities. State that parents who choose to opt out of the relationships part of the RSE framework should not be demonized. State that people’s choices of gender or sexual orientation are personal to them, and as a community, they are respected; however, it should not be taught to children as that is indoctrination. Always finish your email/letter to your MP by stating what you want to happen, such as giving parents the right to opt out of RSE lessons and revising the framework so that it’s not explicit, putting in boundaries for schools to better apply the curriculum object and without prejudice.

 

5. Know that RSE isn’t just in June of every academic year.

Your child will be exposed to LGBTQ concepts all year round, whether out in public or in schools. Most schools will state that they teach the curriculum in the spring term; however, it’s not a must, considering schools are left to their own devices on how they apply frameworks. Schools in the UK can follow different frameworks depending on whether they are an academy trust, faith school, independent school, community trust, or state public school. It is a good idea to obtain the academic calendar from your child’s school and inquire about what topics exactly your child will be taught.

 


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