I write to make clear to your correspondent, Bernadette Eakin, (Under attack, Hereford Times 11.03.21) that my comments about the Sex and Relationships programme used at St Mary’s School were not an attack on the school, which is rated outstanding, nor a political statement.

They were an expression of concern for the wellbeing of children and young people who are facing the uncertainties of growing up. Elements within the programme send entirely the wrong messages to teenagers trying to negotiate the minefield of sex and relationships.

The comment column from a young sixth former in the same issue of the paper, expressed the anxieties felt at this time and the need for understanding and responsive guidance, far more eloquently than I could.


The press story was not initiated by me, my comments were in response to questions that came from the media, and the views expressed are fully shared by my cabinet colleagues.

Of the calls and emails I have received from the public about this issue, only one has disagreed with the points I raised. This topic is also causing concern at the national level and questions are being put to ministers about the whether the teachings are appropriate, and are compatible with equalities and human rights law.

I have been trying for some time to initiate a discussion with Governors at St Mary’s, and with the Catholic Archdiocese, in regard to concerns I have about a range of related issues, but this has so far been refused. I hope now that this can be progressed.

Cllr Felicity Norman

Deputy Leader

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Herefordshire Council

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