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Parents could be sent sex advice packs when their children reach the age of nine, under a controversial new drive to cut teenage pregnancies being considered by the Government.
The booklets would tell parents how to teach their children about sex, relationships and contraception.
The proposal is one of a number of measures outlined on Monday in a report by Chris Bryant, a Labour MP and aide to Harriet Harman, Labour's Deputy Leader.
Another suggestion is to make lessons about sex and relationships compulsory in schools.
The intervention of such an influential Labour figure amounts to a tacit admission that the Government's £150 million strategy to halve under-18 conception rates by 2010 is failing badly in many deprived areas of the country.
The report highlights how, after 10 years of a Labour government, Britain still has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in western Europe, with five times the rate of Holland, three times that of France and twice as high as Germany.
In his report, Mr Bryant says large parts of the country are "blighted" by high teenage pregnancy levels which create a "vicious cycle of under-achievement, benefit dependency, ill health, lack of aspiration, poor parenting and child poverty".
In some areas he found 20 teenagers were pregnant at any one time for every secondary school.
Part of the answer, he suggests, would be to give all parents the advice booklets, as happens in Sweden. This would ensure parents and schools give out the same message to children.
Mr Bryant, who carried out extensive interviews with teenagers and single mothers, said: "At present most kids will tell you they have been told how to put a condom on a cucumber but that is it. And it is not enough."
He suggests schools or education authorities should give out the detailed information to all parents of children from the age of nine or 10 upwards to encourage them to broach the subject with their sons and daughters.
On Sunday night the proposals received enthusiastic backing from the Government's advisers on teenage pregnancy.
However, Jim Dobbin, a Labour MP and chairman of the all-party parliamentary pro-life group, voiced concern.
"The danger with sex education is that it promotes sex among young people," he said.
"The Government's policy has failed. Rather than teaching children more about sex there needs to be more emphasis on the benefits of family life."
Few experts believe ministers have any hope of meeting their 2010 target to cut under-18 conceptions by half, having failed to hit an interim aim of reducing the rate by 15 per cent by 2004.
Gill Frances, the chairman of the Government's Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy, told The Daily Telegraph that although current policy involving schools and local authorities was delivering impressive reductions in some areas, the results were "patchy".
At present teaching the basics about biology and the mechanics of reproduction is statutory and begins in primary schools. However teaching about sex in its wider context is not compulsory.
If ministers were to have a chance of meeting their targets, she said they had to introduce an element of compulsion, including putting sex education at the heart of the formal curriculum.
She welcomed the idea of advice packs if it was part of a co-ordinated approach involving parents and schools.
"The vast majority of parents do want to be helped," she said. "What kind of parent does not want good advice?"
Figures released earlier this year by the Department for Children, Schools and Families showed that pregnancies for the under-16 age group rose by four per cent in 2005, the latest year for which data is available.
Last night the department welcomed Mr Bryant's report. A spokesman said ministers were considering the ideas.
The government advisory group will publish a report backing many of Mr Bryant's proposals later in the year.
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