The inclusion of LGBT+ content in primary school education has become a culture war topic in the UK.

A petition advocating for its inclusion has led to a Parliamentary debate scheduled for March 18th, 2024.

A landscape image of the House of Parliament in London on a Sunny day, taken from Westminster Bridge where the Equality Act was debated
A landscape image of the House of Parliament in London on a Sunny day, taken from Westminster Bridge

LGBT+ content in relationships education for primary schools in the UK is set to be debated in Parliament on 18 March 2024. This comes in response to a petition that has now closed titled “Do not remove LGBT content from the relationships education curriculum”, which garnered 104,920 signatures.

Parliament is required to debate petitions that surpass 100,000 signatures.

The petition and government response

The successful petition asserts the importance of teaching primary school children about LGBT+ issues at a young age. Its creators rightly express confidence that many parents support this stance.

The government, in its official response, states that primary schools are not mandated to include LGBT+ content, though they have the option to do so in an age-appropriate manner. The Department for Education reaffirms that there are no current plans to alter this guidance.

Parliamentary action and inquiry

The Petitions Committee has scheduled the debate and addressed a letter to the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan MP, seeking an update on the government’s review of the relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE) curriculum. The committee also requests confirmation on the plans for publishing new RSHE statutory guidance and urges the release of the draft guidance prior to the debate. This would allow MPs the opportunity to discuss any intended changes during the debate.

Context and implications

The inclusion of LGBT+ topics in education remains a contentious issue in the UK, thanks to the media and ‘culture warrior’ MPs. This debate highlights the ongoing tension between those who advocate for early education on diversity and inclusion and those with bigoted views on what should be taught to young children. The outcome of this debate could have implications for future educational policy in the UK regarding relationships education.

How to follow the debate

The debate will be livestreamed on and the UK Parliament YouTube channel on 18 March at 4:30 pm. A transcript will be available in Hansard, the official record of parliamentary proceedings, shortly afterwards.

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