Parents at Hockley Woods Primary School Academy in South Essex have reacted with outrage and disgust after it emerged that a class of Year 3 pupils were shown scenes from 50 Shades Of Grey as part of a PSHE class – the subject where children are taught important life skills. The 23 pupils, all aged 6 or 7, were shown in total around 20 minutes of some of the most provocative and violent sections of the movie starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.

George Wallace has a 6 year old daughter, Katie, and he told a Southend News Network reporter how she met him at the school gates and described the film that they had watched in class. He said: ‘She ran up to me and was all excited about the sex education content that they had learnt in class, and I thought that this was a little bit strange at first. When we got home, I asked her to describe the video to me, and I instantly recognised the scenes that she was talking about. I rushed straight back into the school to complain, and there were already eight other parents in front of me with the same idea.’

A spokesperson for the school has confirmed to Southend News Network that the teacher in question has been suspended while an investigation is carried out, and in an unusual move the teacher has also released a statement to explain why he showed the clips in class. Peter Whichards, 39, has been teaching at the school for five years, and his statement said: ‘We have a certain amount of flexibility when we come up with our PSHE work, and I am concerned that children are becoming sexually aware at an earlier age these days. I wanted to educate them about sexual issues, and this seemed like the best way to do it. Anyway, half of them got the latest Call of Duty game for Christmas, so if they can watch some guy getting his head blown off surely they can watch something educational about what they might experience in the future. Knowledge is power after all.’

In another development, the school’s curriculum officer has confirmed that the planned lesson was actually called ‘How I Should Wash My Hands,’ with a lighthearted instruction video starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Mr Spoon.