Bill to introduce factual sex education in schools passes latest stage in Dáil

Fianna Fáil did not call a vote on Solidarity's Objective Sex Education Bill

Bill to introduce factual sex education in schools passes latest stage in Dáil

Ruth Coppinger. Image:

A new bill which would remove all religious influence from sex education classes has passed through its latest stage in the Dáil.

Fianna Fáil had threatened to oppose the Solidarity bill, which looks to guarantee 'factual and objective' information on relationships and sexuality for students regardless of a school’s religious ethos.

The legislation would ensure all schoolchildren get age appropriate sex education, including information about contraception, consent and LGBTQ issues.

The Government had this week indicated it would not oppose the bill.

Fianna Fáil's education spokesperson Thomas Byrne yesterday said his party supported many of the suggestions in the proposed legislation - but they did not want the curriculum put into law, claiming it would be a "bad precedent to set".

Ultimately the party did not call a vote on the bill, ensuring it passed its latest hurdle in the chamber.

The Deputy Ceann Comhairle Pat the Cope Gallagher explained that the bill will now be debated by the Education Committee.

He told deputies: "As this is a private members bill, it must [...] be referred to the select committee."

Solidarity TDs had yesterday called on supporters of the bill to contact their TDs in an effort to persuade them to back the bill in a vote.

The Union of Students of Ireland (USI) and the National Women's Council (NWCI) were among the groups who welcomed the news that the proposed legislation will now move to committee stage.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger, meanwhile, called on anyone with submissions related to relationships and sexuality education (RSE) to submit them by lunchtime tomorrow: