Don't be an ostrich about sex and marriage

14th November 1997 at 00:00
"I don't want my children taught by people whose moral standards are different from ours" says Stephen Green (TES, October 31).

I have been co-ordinating a course for 16-year-olds at our local comprehensive on "morality and ethics in contemporary society" The course covers a broad spectrum of moral and ethical issues of which sex is one.

It is clear to me that - from comments made by the students - they are not only well aware of many of the possibilities of life, but also have been well-prepared during their first five years of PSHE, so that they know about the right place of sex within relationships.

Marriage is discussed but is not seen as the only context for sexual relationships. This is not a new development nor is it one which has occurred simply because "immoral" teachers have promoted it. The status of marriage in society is one which has been changing and developing over decades, and an ostrich-in-the-sand denial of this situation by the church or any other grouping seeking to claim special moral status can reduce their influence and credibility among the young and those who educate them.

Isn't it about time that the anti-sex education lobby left the business of education to those who are best placed to carry it out? Teachers and parents in co-operation, not in opposition.

REVEREND BARRIE SCOTT Tilston Lodge New Lane Hill Tilehurst, Reading, Berkshire

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