London: A mother has taken her seven-year-old daughter out of school after she was made to watch a cartoon showing a couple chasing each other around a bed and having sex.

Seven- and eight-year-old pupils watched the controversial Channel 4 sex education DVD, Living and Growing, at their village primary school. A voice-over on the DVD describes the sex as "exciting".

Lisa Bullivant, from Legbourne, Lincolnshire, was so upset by the "graphic" content, she took her daughter out of East Wold Primary School and placed her with another school.

Bullivant said: "The cartoon was very graphic. My daughter was frightened and children have unfortunately been copying what they have seen. Parents should have been given the decision of whether the video should have been shown or not.

"Seven to nine year olds should not possess this knowledge. There is no educational or psychological benefit or need for children of this age to have full knowledge of what sexual intercourse actually entails."

Letter to parents

The school sent parents a letter saying they could view the film before it was shown to pupils, but Bullivant and several other parents were unable to attend.

She said: "We had no reason to think we needed to. You never think in a million years that would be taught to seven year olds.

"We had faith in the head teacher and the school that all they would be learning would be basic puberty. It should have said in the letter children would learn how to have sexual intercourse."

Bullivant complained to head teacher Lesley Thornes and the school's governors, and sought a meeting with the director of education at Lincolnshire council.

Debbie Barnes, assistant director of children's services at the council, said: "The DVD has been recommended for use in schools by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and is seen as appropriate for the age group. We are sorry Mrs Bullivant has taken this view, but we are happy with the school's approach in using the DVD for the benefit of its pupils and their education."

Thornes refused to comment. Thousands of the Channel 4 sex education packs have been sold to primary schools across the country.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "Living and Growing has been in the marketplace for nearly ten years and has been very well received by the educational community. It was developed in response to requests for a resource that promotes sex and relationship education as a developmental process.

"One of our most popular series, it has successfully supported schools and primary care trusts across the UK to address one of the most sensitive themes of the healthy schools curriculum initiative in a factual and age-appropriate way."