Education Secretary Ed Balls has insane idea

THE Education Secretary Ed Balls has announced an unbelievably insane idea. Under his curriculum proposals, school pupils aged 14 will have compulsory parenting lessons from 2011. It seems Mr Balls assumes the classes will put pupils off having children u

THE Education Secretary Ed Balls has announced an unbelievably insane idea. Under his curriculum proposals, school pupils aged 14 will have compulsory parenting lessons from 2011.

It seems Mr Balls assumes the classes will put pupils off having children until they are ready, but surely such lessons will simply prepare youngsters for teenage pregnancy.

With teen mums currently rewarded with their own homes, perhaps the Government should instead look at changing its welfare system in order to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies.

Parenting classes will stir an interest in something where there probably was none, and will give the impression that teen pregnancies are something of the norm and are socially acceptable.


You may also want to watch:


The Personal Health and Social Education (PHSE) aspect of the curriculum should not be given so much prominence in schools. The Government has already announced plans to introduce lessons in domestic violence awareness, and how to manage finances. Teachers should instead focus on ensuring pupils gain the qualifications necessary to secure a good job in the future, which will provide a platform for acquiring a home and for eventually raising a family.

There are aspects of Mr Balls' curriculum proposals which I whole-heartedly agree with. Teaching sex education to pupils from the age of five, for instance, with children aged five to seven set to learn about the simple physical changes to their bodies since birth and the differences between boys and girls. But teaching 14 year olds how to be parents is a step too far. I simply do not understand why parenting education is needed at such a young age.

Most Read

Mr Balls' plans could quite easily backfire and lead to a rise in teenage pregnancies, with youngsters leaving education to have a baby. Risking encouraging children to abandon their childhoods prematurely is unforgiveable.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter