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Education Act 1996

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Education Act 1996, Cross Heading: Sex education is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 15 June 2024. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Sex educationE+W

403 Sex education: manner of provision.E+W

(1)The F1. . ., governing body and head teacher shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where sex education is given to any registered pupils at a maintained school [F2(whether or not as part of statutory relationships and sex education)] , it is given in such a manner as to encourage those pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life.

[F3(1A)The Secretary of State must issue guidance designed to secure that when sex education is given to registered pupils at maintained schools—

(a)they learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children, and

(b)they are protected from teaching and materials which are inappropriate having regard to the age and the religious and cultural background of the pupils concerned.

[F4(1ZB)In subsection (1A) the reference to sex education does not include sex education given as part of statutory relationships and sex education.]

(1B)In discharging their functions under subsection (1) governing bodies and head teachers must have regard to the Secretary of State’s guidance.

(1C)Guidance under subsection (1A) must include guidance about any material which may be produced by NHS bodies for use for the purposes of sex education in schools.

(1D)The Secretary of State may at any time revise his guidance under subsection (1A).]

(2)In [F5this section]maintained school” includes [F6a community or foundation special school] established in a hospital [F7and “NHS body” has the same meaning as in [F8the National Health Service Act 2006 (see section 275(1) of that Act)] .]

[F9(2A)In this section “statutory relationships and sex education” means education required to be provided at a school in England under section 80(1)(d) of the Education Act 2002.]

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 403(1) repealed (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, ss. 148(3), 153, Sch. 11 (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F3S. 403(1A)-(1D) inserted (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, s. 148(4) (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F5Words in s. 403(2) substituted (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, s. 148(5)(a) (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F6Words in s. 403(2) substituted (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para. 102 (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1999/2323, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F7Words in s. 403(2) inserted (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, s. 148(5)(b) (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

404 Sex education: statements of policy.E+W

(1)The governing body of a maintained school shall—

(a)make, and keep up to date, a separate written statement of their policy with regard to the provision of sex education, and

(b)make copies of the statement available for inspection (at all reasonable times) by parents of registered pupils at the school and provide a copy of the statement free of charge to any such parent who asks for one.

[F10(1A)A statement under subsection (1) must include a statement of the effect of section 405.]

[F11(1B)In subsection (1) the reference to sex education does not include sex education given as part of statutory relationships and sex education (and accordingly subsection (1) does not apply at all in relation to a school at which sex education is only given as part of statutory relationships and sex education).]

(2)[F12In subsection (1) “maintained school” includes, in relation to pupils who are provided with secondary education, [F13a community or foundation special school] established in a hospital.]

[F12In this section—

  • “maintained school” includes, in relation to pupils who are provided with secondary education, a community or foundation special school established in a hospital;

  • “statutory relationships and sex education” means education required to be provided at a school in England under section 80(1)(d) of the Education Act 2002.]

F14(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

405 Exemption from sex education.E+W

[F15(1)] If the parent of any pupil in attendance at a maintained school requests that he may be wholly or partly excused from receiving sex education at the school, the pupil shall, except so far as such education is comprised in the National Curriculum, be so excused accordingly until the request is withdrawn.

[F16(2)In subsection (1) the reference to sex education does not include sex education provided at a maintained school in England as part of statutory relationships and sex education.

(3)If the parent of any pupil in attendance at a maintained school in England requests that the pupil may be wholly or partly excused from sex education provided as part of statutory relationships and sex education, the pupil must be so excused until the request is withdrawn, unless or to the extent that the head teacher considers that the pupil should not be so excused.

(4)In this section “statutory relationships and sex education” means education required to be provided at a school in England under section 80(1)(d) of the Education Act 2002.]

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