Children as young as six are being taught about touching or ‘stimulating’ their own genitals as part of classes that will become compulsory in hundreds of primary schools.
Some parents believe the lessons – part of a controversial new sex and relationships teaching programme called All About Me – are ‘sexualising’ their young children.
One couple told last night how they were so disturbed they withdrew their sons from lessons at a school where the programme is already being taught.
All About Me is being rolled out across 241 primaries by Warwickshire County Council and could be adopted by other local authorities next year as part of the Government’s overhaul of Relationship and Sex Education (RSE).
Family campaigners and religious groups warned that vague guidelines issued by the Department for Education meant schools could soon be providing sexual material to young children that many parents would consider inappropriate.
Even politicians who had supported the RSE legislation expressed concern. Tory MP David Davies said: ‘I and many other parents would be furious at completely inappropriate sexual matters being taught to children as young as six. These classes go way beyond the guidance the Government is producing and are effectively sexualising very young children.’
Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday detail how All About Me classes involve pupils aged between six and ten being told by teachers that there are ‘rules about touching yourself’. An explanation of ‘rules about self-stimulation’ appears in the scheme’s Year Two lesson plan for six and seven-year-olds.
Under a section called Touching Myself, teachers are advised to tell children that ‘lots of people like to tickle or stroke themselves as it might feel nice’. They are also instructed to inform youngsters that this may include touching their ‘private parts’ and, that while some people may say this behaviour is ‘dirty’, it is in fact ‘very normal’.
However, the youngsters are warned it is ‘not polite’ to touch themselves in public – it is an activity they should do when alone in the bath, shower or in bed.
In the same lesson, children are given scenarios which they must judge to be ‘OK’ or ‘not OK’.
In one, pupils are told that when a girl called Autumn ‘has a bath and is alone she likes to touch herself between her legs. It feels nice’.
At this point, teachers are advised to remind the students of the ‘rules about self-stimulation’.
The guidance on touching is repeated in lesson plans for Years Four and Five, involving pupils aged eight to ten.