Voice Official Response:Ensuring access to the full curriculum
Background: The Welsh Government is seeking views on the impact of the proposal to change parents’ ability to withdraw their children from Religious Education (RE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in the new curriculum, and on a change of name for RE.
Voice believes that it is paramount that all schools need to have clear and transparent policies on RE/SRE which are accessible to parents, and which will help to facilitate the honest disclosure of the content and timing of RE/SRE lessons, including what teaching materials will be used. School policies should include the provision for appropriate differentiation and support for children with special needs (whether arising as a result of past experience of abuse and/or due to additional learning needs).
There should be parental consultative events to explain the nature of the changes and then individual consultations with parents who have concerns.
The materials and resources used in the delivery of specific aspects of RSE should be chosen very carefully, with the input of teachers, parents and pupils as appropriate.
It will be essential for the education workforce involved in the delivery of this part of the curriculum (both teachers and learning support assistants) to receive appropriate training, which needs to be ongoing and updated on a regular basis.
Consortia should be involved in providing training, information and guidance to local authorities and the education workforce regarding how to engage with parents and other organisations when there is conflict or confrontation, once the right for parents to withdraw their children from lessons is removed.
We agree that the 'religious education' subject title should be ‘Religions and Worldviews’ because it will then be clear that all major world religions will be studied alongside other worldviews and philosophies.
Update (21/1/2020): Read the Education Minister's announcement on the consultation response
Senior Professional Officer (Wales)