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(1) The Education Act 1996 shall be amended as follows.
(2) In section 351 (general duties in respect of the curriculum) after subsection (5) insert—
“(6) In exercising any function which may affect the provision of sex education in maintained schools, every local education authority must have regard to the guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 403(1A).
(7) Except to the extent provided in subsection (6), nothing in this section shall be taken to impose duties on a local education authority with regard to sex education.”
(3) In section 403 (sex education: manner of provision) in subsection (1) omit “local education authority,”.
(4) After subsection (1) of that section insert—
“(1A) The Secretary of State must issue guidance designed to secure that when sex education is given to registered pupils at maintained schools—
(a) they learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children, and
(b) they are protected from teaching and materials which are inappropriate having regard to the age and the religious and cultural background of the pupils concerned.
(1B) In discharging their functions under subsection (1) governing bodies and head teachers must have regard to the Secretary of State's guidance.
(1C) Guidance under subsection (1A) must include guidance about any material which may be produced by NHS bodies for use for the purposes of sex education in schools.
(1D) The Secretary of State may at any time revise his guidance under subsection (1A).”
(5) In subsection (2) of that section—
(a) for “subsection (1)” substitute “this section”, and
(b) at the end insert “and “NHS body” has the same meaning as in section 22 of the National Health Service Act 1977.”
(6) In section 404 (sex education: statements of policy) after subsection (1) insert—
“(1A) A statement under subsection (1) must include a statement of the effect of section 405.”
To be appointed: see s 154(3), (4).