Sex lesson guidelines condemned

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SEXUALLY active teenagers could leave school knowing nothing about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases or Aids - and new government guidelines would be to blame, public health experts claimed yesterday.

Until now, sex education formed part of the science national curriculum. But John Patten, Secretary of State for Education, has decided that it should be taught as a separate subject. Children can be withdrawn from the lessons at a parent's request.

Yesterday, health specialists at a conference in London condemned the guidance. Dr Loretta Light, deputy chairwoman of the British Medical Association's committee on public health medicine and community health, said the policy was 'a nonsense'.