Venue: Multi-location Meeting - Siambr Dafydd Orwig, Council Offices, Caernarfon LL55 1SH / Virtually via Zoom
Contact: Annes Sion 01286 679490
To receive any apologies for absence
DECLARATION OF PERSONAL INTEREST
To receive any declaration of personal interest.
No declarations of personal interest were received.
THE CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
To receive any Chairman’s announcements.
Condolences were extended to Councillor Elwyn Jones, on the loss of his wife. Sympathies were sent to the Chair and the family in their loss.
It was also noted that the Council wished to sympathise with everyone in the county’s communities who had recently lost loved ones.
The Council stood in silence as a mark of respect and remembrance.
Congratulations were extended to everyone from Gwynedd who had been successful at the Royal Welsh Show recently, as well as everyone from Gwynedd who had been competing at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham over the summer.
Congratulations were extended to everyone from Gwynedd who had been successful at this year's National Eisteddfod in Ceredigion. All of the main prizes came to Gwynedd, or to individuals who had been brought up in Gwynedd; especially to Esyllt Maelor, Morfa Nefyn, the wife and mother of two Councillors in Gwynedd, on winning the Crown.
The County's pupils were congratulated on their A Level and GCSE results.
The Monitoring Officer was invited to explain the nature of the extraordinary meeting. He noted that the Chair of the Council had received a request that had been signed by five Members of the Council, calling for an extraordinary meeting. He reiterated that the nature and scope of the meeting had been set-out in the meeting request, and this would represent the business to be discussed, including what could be appropriately proposed. Members were reminded that they, as a body, represented the Statutory Education Authority and as members they were meeting in that role; and as elected members that their representations and statements at the meeting were subject to the Code of Conduct and the Gwynedd Standard.
To note any items which are urgent business in the opinion of the Chairman so they may be considered.
None to note.
1. In accordance with section 4.12.1 (d) of the Constitution, a request was received by the Chairman from the five members specified, calling for a meeting of the Council to consider the matter contained in the request.
2. Information Pack
a) 1. Request for Extraordinary Meeting
2. Appendix – copy of High Court Order
b) 1. Education Department Report
2. Appendix - The Curriculum for Wales – Relationships and Sexuality Education Code
To refuse the proposal to refer matters, as noted in the request for an Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council, for urgent consideration by the Education and Economy Scrutiny Committee with the right to call external experts into that Committee.
At the request of the Chair, a proposal by Councillor Louise Hughes was accepted and seconded, to refer the matters relating to the delivery of the Relationships and Sexuality Education Curriculum in Wales from September 2022, for urgent consideration by the Education and Economy Scrutiny Committee, with the right to call external experts to that Committee.
Cllr Louise Hughes was invited to expand on the proposal. She made the following observations:
· Thanked everyone for accepting the extraordinary meeting request, and to everyone for attending.
· That she had called a meeting as the impact of introducing Relationships and Sexuality Education had highlighted her concern and worry, as well as complete ignorance about the subject. Therefore, it was important to share information and hold an open discussion (whilst accepting that there would be a difference in opinions).
· That introducing the Relationships and Sexuality Education Code was statutory and had already been introduced in Scotland and in England - to be introduced in Wales on 01/09/22.
· The education would be included across the curriculum and not as an individual subject - this caused concern.
· That a Judicial Review case regarding the introduction of the subject had been received by the High Court.
· Did introducing a Relationships and Sexuality Education safeguard our children? Protected them from whom and from what?
· That the content of the curriculum was based on the work of Alfred Kinsey, which dated back to the 1940s - very different attitudes during this period.
· That she encouraged her fellow Members to read the documentation of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
· That the education in Scotland already offered clear instructions to children aged 9-12 on how to have sex.
· That games to identify and how to name body parts in England and in Scotland for children aged 7-9 years were included in the instructions and that the education was to commence with 3 year old children.
· According to research, children should not be offered anything that they could not process - it had to be considered that maturity was the foundation of decision-making.
· As Councillors, parents and governors, the matter should be scrutinised - welcomed a discussion.
The seconder of the proposal, Cllr Gruffydd Williams, was invited to present observations.
· That he was unaware that a public consultation had been held.
· Transparency needed to be ensured. Information needed to be shared about the terminology and themes of the curriculum.
· Would materials, training, resources be available?
· Needed to ensure the safety of children by ensuring that more support was available before this was actioned. Assumed that teachers and assistants were the 'practitioners'?
· More specific guidance was needed - had an age appropriateness and development assessment been completed? Had any evidence been submitted?
Councillor Beca Brown was invited to open the response as the Cabinet Member with responsibility for education matters. She noted the following observations:
· That the material being shared on social media and through people's doors recently, by a group that were lobbying against the Relationships and Sexuality Education Code, was completely ... view the full minutes text for item 5.