A draft guidance regarding relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) lessons from the United Kingdom’s Department of Education includes instructions to teachers not to discuss “gender identity” with students.

The British government released the draft Thursday, following fierce debate about transgender issues in the United Kingdom, Politico Europe reported. The document includes multiple requirements that have been hotly debated in the United States, including parental access to the curriculum, a requirement that the instruction be age-appropriate and the omission of “gender identity” from instruction.

“Sex education will not be taught before Year 5, and at that point from a purely scientific standpoint,” the release states.

 

“Schools should ensure that RSHE teaching materials are available to parents and that parents are aware of what is being taught,” the release said.

The new guidance also includes lessons on sexual harassment, sexual violence, suicide prevention and relationships. British Prime Minister Sunak ordered a review after MP Miriam Cates questioned him over the use of inappropriate content in classrooms in Parliament in March 2023.

“Across the country, children are being subjected to lessons that are age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualizing and inaccurate,” Cates said during her remarks.

“Parents rightly trust that when they send their children to school, they are kept safe and will not be exposed to disturbing content that is inappropriate for their age,” Sunak said. “That’s why I was horrified to hear reports of this happening in our classrooms last year.”

The guidance is similar to provisions in parental-rights legislation Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed into law in March 2022. Schools in Florida pulled multiple books on the grounds of having explicit content, including “Gender Queer,” “Let’s Talk About It” and “It’s Perfectly Normal” after DeSantis signed the legislation.

“I will always act swiftly to protect our children and this new guidance will do exactly that, while supporting teachers to teach these important topics sensitively and giving parents access to curriculum content if they wish,” Sunak said in the release.

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