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Kirk puts its faith in the professionals

The professionalism of teachers is a bulwark against inappropriate sex education, the Church of Scotland said this week.

In a notably measured statement, Susan Leslie, secretary of the Kirk's education committee, said it supported the curriculum framework for the early years which stipulates the importance of teaching about trusting and loving relationships.

"The foundation of learning is vital to give young children a sound family, social and moral basis for future learning about more personal relationships," she said.

Ms Leslie, a former primary head with responsibility for a nursery class, added: "We are concerned that the current debate about sex education has not taken these guidelines into account and has not given credit to the professionalism and values of the teaching profession which has implemented the guidelines so successfully."

The Church believes the Executive's aim in its forthcoming sexual health strategy is to underline the relationships mentioned in the early years guidelines.

If more explicit lessons were to be contemplated, the Church would be the first to raise objections. "However, we have received no indication from any source that this will be the case," Ms Leslie stated.

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