Future RSE Provision

Section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act 2019 placed a duty on the Secretary of State to 'ensure that the recommendations in paragraphs 85 and 86 of the CEDAW report are implemented in respect of Northern Ireland'. While Paragraph 85 cleared the way for the decriminalisation of abortion, Paragraph 86 includes a range of social re-education steps to make abortion more acceptable to the public. Included in this is the introduction of a compulsory RSE Curriculum.

On the 6th of June 2023 the Secretary of State, Chris Heaton-Harris, made a written statement to the House of Commons, indicating that he intended to change the RSE Curriculum in Northern Ireland. He said:

'I have today laid Regulations in Parliament to implement the CEDAW recommendation to "make age-appropriate, comprehensive and scientifically accurate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights, a compulsory component of curriculum for adolescents, covering prevention of early pregnancy and access to abortion in Northern Ireland, and monitor its implementation". The Regulations will mirror the approach taken in England with regard to education about the prevention of early pregnancy and access to abortion.'

In other words Chris Heaton-Harris is once again legislating on a devolved issue to ensure that schools cannot alter their RSE Policy to match their ethos and, instead, must teach a set curriculum including pro abortion propaganda and LGBTQ+ indoctrination.

Heaton-Harris' regulations will:

  • Place a duty on the Department of Education to issue guidance, by 1 January 2024, on the content and delivery of the education required to be provided to pupils in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
  • Place a duty on the Board of Governors and principal of every grant-aided school to have regard to this guidance and implement it in their schools.
  • Require the Department of Education to create a mechanism by which parents can allow children to opt out of the sexuality branch of the curriculum.
  • not require an opt out to be provided for Christian teachers.

In the future CCEA's Progression Framework will form the basis for the new statutory Post Primary RSE Curriculum for Northern Ireland that is to be released by January 2024 This was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, during a Delegated Legislation Committee debate at Westminster on the 26th of June when he said:

"The Department of Education and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment have been developing an RSE progression framework that will be adapted and used in the guidance issued by the Department."

The adaptation that the Secretary of State requires to the CCEA Progression Framework is the inclusion of information on how pupils can access and perform their own abortions without parental knowledge or consent.

Action Points

  • Visit the 'Take Action' section of our website to find out what you can do to take a stand against these regulations.