§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what account he has taken of the Education Act 1986 and the European convention on human rights in considering implementation of the recommendations of his pamphlet, "HIV and AIDS: a Guide for the Education Service"; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
The purpose of my Department's publication "HIV and Aids: A Guide for the Education Service" is to present, for education professionals, the basic facts about HIV, draw attention to ways in which the education service can contribute to the dissemination of knowledge about HIV and AIDS, and give guidance on standard hygiene practices which educational institutions should adopt to guard against the risks of accidental transmission. My right hon. and learned Friend consistently made it clear, in line with section 46 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, that sex education, including education about the sexual transmission of HIV, should be given in such a manner as to encourage pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life; and that detailed decisions about how such education is delivered in the classroom should take full account of local circumstances, the particular needs of pupils, and the views of parents. This approach is consistent with the requirements of the European convention on human rights on the need to respect the right of parents to ensure that their children's education conforms with their own religious and philosophical convictions.