We believe that parents are the primary and principal educators of their children, and that the role of the State, the Churches and other organisations is to support parents in that responsibility, whether by providing schools or otherwise, and not to usurp them. This position is supported by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and reflected in section 7 and 9 of the Education Act 1996. In relation to the delicate subjects of Religious Education and Sex education, this is further reflected in parents’ rights to withdraw their children (Education Act 1996 s.405 and School Standards and Framework Act 1998 s.71 (1)). This Bill attacks this fundamental principle by proposing the removal of the right of withdrawal (Schedule 2, paragraphs 20 and 36). Religious Education as the Foundation for Formation in Values, Virtues and Ethics All schools currently have the obligation under the Human Rights Act 1998 and case law to teach RE in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner. Schools also have the freedom to teach RE as a rigorous academic subject at the heart of the curriculum, in a way that both it and the whole curriculum support the whole school’s formation of pupils in values, virtues and ethics. Catholic schools already do all of these things, and do them well. The proposed change of the name of the curriculum subject from Religious Education to Religion, Values and Ethics potentially undermines that freedom and could lead to a position where schools are encouraged to view the instilling of values and ethics as something to be compartmentalised within a single subject area, rather than being the wider responsibility of the whole curriculum supported by the whole school