Justine Greening has announced today that Relationships and Sex Education is to be made statutory so every child has age appropriate education from the age of 4.
The exact curriculum hasn’t been laid out, but ‘age-appropriate’ lessons will have particular emphasis on what constitutes healthy relationships, as well as the dangers of sexting, online pornography and sexual harassment, and same sex relationships are to be included.
All schools are affected, including academies, independents and religious free schools (which have not been covered in the past).
Steve Slack, The CEO of SAYiT, a charity working with young people said:
‘We welcome this announcement, many of us having campaigned for this long needed development. Young people and their parents have been telling us for years that they want better, relevant and comprehensive Sex Education in order that they can better make informed decisions about sex and relationships. Young people need to be aware of issues such as consent and how to negotiate safer, healthier and more equal relationships.
‘Evidence suggests that the countries which provide the most comprehensive sex and relationships education have lower rates of STI’s, fewer unwanted pregnancies and enjoy more mutually respectful relationships. However, we are very disappointed that parents will still have the right to withdraw their children from lessons as we believe all children and young people have a right to sex and relationships education lessons.’
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