The Terrence Higgins Trust has expressed its disappointment at the House of Lords and of government for failing to make sex and relationship education (SRE) compulsory in all schools.

On Tuesday, peers rejected a Labour amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which would have make sex education, including lessons on same-sex relationships, compulsory across state-funded primary and secondary schools.

Schools Minister Lord Nash described the amendment as unnecessary.

He said: “The amendment would disturb this balance, and remove from teachers and governors any control over their school’s approach to SRE.

“It would also impose on academies a new requirement, when in fact the vast majority of academies already teach SRE as part of their responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, and a fully rounded education.”

In response, Daisy Ellis, head of parliamentary and public affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We are extremely disappointed with the outcome of this week’s vote. It is high time that the government acts on the clamouring of calls to improve SRE in this country.

“The continued dragging of feet in Whitehall means that young LGBT people in schools and colleges across the country are being left without the skills and knowledge they need to make healthy decisions in their adult lives.

“We will continue to push this issue at all levels of government”.