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  • Lord Moylan

Written Question: Parental Rights in Northern Ireland

Lord Moylan: To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Northern Ireland Department of Education concerning its guidance on relationships and sexual education, particularly in relation to whether that guidance will permit parents to withdraw their children in a similar manner to that in England.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Caine): The Relationships and Sexuality Education (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 place a duty on the Department of Education to introduce regulations to ensure that a pupil may be withdrawn from education on sexual and reproductive health and rights or elements of that education, at the request of a parent. This follows the approach taken in England and Scotland. Officials will continue to engage with the Northern Ireland Department of Education to ensure this duty is successfully discharged.

The Department of Education has confirmed it will consult on both the guidance and the provisions for the circumstances in which a pupil may be excused from the education or specified elements of that education.

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