Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admits he 'can't remember' when he first learned about sex

 (ITV / Loose Women)
(ITV / Loose Women)

The Prime Minister admitted he "can't remember" when he first learned about sex amid growing controversy over government reforms on teaching the subject in schools.

Rishi Sunak on Thursday said his plans to reform sex education in schools will ban some “contested” theories about gender identity being taught as fact and protect students in the classroom.

"We should let kids be kids," the PM said during an appearance on ITV’s Loose Women.

"What worried parents was not being allowed to know what their kids are being taught with these sensitive subjects.

"Parents should always be allowed to know what their kids are being taught at school."

But quizzed on what he knew about the subject as a teenager, Mr Sunak replied: "I can't quite remember when I went through that period."

He added: "When I was a kid you weren't hearing concerns about kids learning there are 72 gender identities.

“I don't remember that being an issue when I was younger."

Clear age limits on the teaching of sex education aim to ensure children are not “exposed to too much too soon”, the Government said as it published new proposals on the topic this week.

Draft statutory guidance states that sex education should be taught no earlier than year five, when pupils are aged nine.

What is described as the “contested topic of gender identity” should not be taught at all.

The guidance, which is subject to a nine-week consultation ending on July 11, was published in full on Thursday.

The draft revised guidance on relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) has been compiled following concerns that children were being exposed to “inappropriate” content.

But education leaders and charities have raised concerns about the introduction of age limits in the curriculum because, they argue, more children could turn to online sources rather than trusted teachers.

In her foreword to guidance, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan stated: “As children start to approach adulthood, we need to give them the tools to keep themselves safe and to flourish.

“This relies on them getting the right information at the right time, so that they know about the risks and how to avoid them, but also making sure that they are not exposed to too much too soon, taking away the innocence of childhood. That is a very difficult balance to get right.

“That is why this updated guidance includes clear age limits for the teaching of the most sensitive content and specifies that the contested topic of gender identity should not be taught.

“And it reinforces the vital principle that parents have the right to know about everything their children are being taught and be given a proper chance to understand and discuss it.”