CONCERNS have been raised that a proposal to have issues such as abortion and homosexuality enshrined in the school curriculum will be used to indoctrinate children with sexual ethics that their parents may object to.

The Scottish Parliament has taken forward a petition by sex education lobbyist Sexpression: UK calling on MSPs to take the almost unprecedented step of using the law to compel schools to provide sex and relationship education (SRE).

Discussions about domestic violence, rape, assault and child abuse should be compulsory from a young age, Sexpression: UK spokeswoman Rebecca Ryce told Holyrood's Public Petitions Committee.

Children could be asked to imagine the difficulties they would face if they brought home a same-sex partner or discuss whether abortion is appropriate, she added.

But Rev David Robertson, of the Free Church of Scotland, said such a regime would be "an absolute breach of human rights for children to be 'educated' in a particular sexual philosophy, which is contrary to the wishes of their parents and ultimately harmful to the child".

He added: "On the surface Sexpression's concerns seem justified and their solutions reasonable. However, in reality it is a Trojan horse which will be used to indoctrinate our children into the particular sexual ethics and philosophy which Sexpression regard as right."

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw also raised concerns, fearing that a child who objected to the statutory "received wisdom" would be told they are wrong.

Mr Carlaw said: "I would worry that there was a received wisdom as to what was correct and that anyone who perhaps took an alternative view would be told they are wrong, when in fact that is a subjective argument and not, in fact, an absolute one."

The committee agreed to take forward the petition and seek further advice from the Scottish Government health and education departments and look at international best practice on SRE.