No to Europe, sex and Ofsted

11th August 2006 at 01:00
"No sex please we're British" is the message from the UK Independence Party in its first detailed education manifesto.

The Eurosceptic party is calling for the abolition of compulsory sex education classes. But its reluctance to "intrude into areas which parents rightly feel would belong to them" has not prevented it from noting growing support in America for "abstinence education".

UKIP says it is interested in whether the approach, which encourages young people to say no to sex until marriage, could help reduce teenage pregnancies.

Compulsory sex education is definitely out, as is compulsory citizenship and personal, social and health education and a lot more.

The education manifesto, exclusively revealed to The TES, is described by a UKIP spokesman as: "The first time that we have concentrated on the subject and thought through the policies."

But whether the policy, which would allow optional lessons for children older than 10, will have an effect is a moot point as currently, the only compulsory sex education is in science in which 11 to 14-year-olds are taught about the human reproductive system and adolescent physical changes.

Relationships, contraception and sexually transmitted infections are in PSHE lessons from which children can be removed by parents.

But there is plenty more on the party's abolition list, including Ofsted, primary targets, exclusion appeal panels, tests for seven-year-olds, circle time, general science GCSEs and most coursework.

Instead the party plans a return to a grammar school network, the O-level and a leaving age below 16 for less academic pupils.

More modern sounding is a "franchising" system, reminiscent of the Government's trust schools, with not-for-profit companies or charities taking on state schools.

UKIP also adopts Conservative favourites - phonics and a voucher system.

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