Population Matters

Make UK sex education statutory

Make UK sex education statutory

Write to your MP in support of this campaign by the Sex Education Forum.

The text of the campaign’s letter in the Guardian is set out below.

David Cameron

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have all stated publicly that sex and relationships education is important, yet Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) recently found that it remains unsatisfactory in a third of schools. This is hardly surprising when a survey of teachers showed that seven out of 10 felt they needed more training to deliver the subject properly and that regulations require only a handful of the more biological topics to be addressed. All children and young people need age-appropriate teaching. If pupils approaching puberty don’t learn the proper names of sexual parts of the body, and those in secondary school are taught little or nothing about consensual relationships or sexual health, we are failing in our duty to safeguard pupils.

As the (UK House of Commons) Education Select Committee opens its inquiry (into Personal, Social, Health and Economic education and Sex and Relationships Education in schools), we are calling for a commitment from political parties to make such teaching statutory. This would allow it to be treated the same as other subjects — with educators trained in the subject and sufficient timetable time to tackle real-life issues, including domestic violence, exploitation and pornography. Statutory sex and relationships must apply to all schools, including primary schools and academies, and pupils must be guaranteed to learn medically correct facts about their bodies. Teaching must be proactive in promoting gender and LGBT equality, and relationships education should count for at least half of that teaching. There is overwhelming support from parents, young people, teachers and health professionals to improve such teaching, so we urge our leaders to give it the statutory status it so urgently needs.

Source: The Guardian

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