A SCOTS council has been praised after announcing they are scrapping plans to ask controversial sex questions to school pupils following backlash from parents.
Moray Council told parents at the weekend they will not be asking any children whether they have engaged in sexual activities as a part of a Scottish Government census for young people.
Prior to the council’s change, children between the ages of 15 – 18 were going to be asked about how often they had engaged in vaginal, oral or anal sexual intercourse.
The questionnaire was also set to ask pupils in S4, S5 and S6 how regularly they use contraception or condoms whilst engaging in vaginal or anal sex.
Many parents were left furious after reading the questions on the Scottish Government’s health and well-being census last year.
Following backlash, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in December the Scottish Government will not consider withdrawing the survey.
However, Moray Council informed local parents over the weekend that they have taken the decision as a local authority to remove all sexual health questions.
They plan to replace the section of the census with more questions about the local community and the children’s access to activities.
In a letter to all parents and guardians, they said: “We are aiming to improve children’s services in your area.
“To help with this, we are asking all primary and secondary schools in your area to take part, and to ask all children in Primary 5 (P5) to Secondary 6 (S6) about their lives and wellbeing.
“Although there was some concerns that the sexual health questions were being asked in every questionnaire to all age groups, they were actually only being asked in the S4, S5 and S6 questionnaires.
“However, as a local authority we have taken the decision to remove all the sexual health questions.
“There will therefore be no sexual health questions in any of the questionnaires the children and young people participate in.”
Hundreds of parents and critics of the survey have taken to social media to applaud the move.
Jan Donaldson said: “Well done Moray Council, I hope more councils follow them.”
Lynn Young said: “A victory for decency. We need to be asking what kind of government would propose such questions to school children and what kind of leader would approve them?”
Stuart McFarlane said: “All councils should follow suit.”
Emma Cormie said: “Moray Council getting it right for once, that’s my catchment.”
Lisa Richardson said: “A huge well done to all concerned, here’s hoping for the rest of them.”
Ann Parker said: “Hooray, finally a council with morals thank you. Let’s hope the Scottish government can learn from them and put children’s welfare and safety first.”
Under the original questionnaire children were set to be asked how often in the past 12 months they had engaged in sexual intercourse either vaginal or anal.
Several Scottish local authorities refused to send out the survey including Falkirk, Aberdeenshire and North Lanarkshire.
Many others – including Moray Council – indicated that they would review the content.
Several councils including Glasgow City Council plan to go ahead with the full census.