- June 12, 2019
- Posted by: Siobhan Baillie
- Category: Opportunity
The decision to legislate to ensure that all schools would teach Relationships and Sex Education has taken many many years of campaigning, research and support in both Houses of Parliament.
My own charity were involved in the work with a focus on the relationships aspects of RSE, alongside many other charities, organisations and schools.
The issue of relationships education has sadly been dominated by the Birmingham protests in recent weeks. A small group of Muslim activists are claiming that children and young people should not learn about LGBT relationships through RSE.
In my view the protest group are wrong for multiple reasons and some of their intimidating behaviour outside of a school is appalling. Children and young people should learn about all types of relationships that are in the society around them. Love is love. Children have two parents of the same sex. Families rather wonderfully come in all shapes and sizes.
It appears the group are also misrepresenting the new curriculum.
The Department for Education has produced guidance for schools where age appropriate information will be taught with schools in control and parents very much informed. The Secretary of State’s recent comments are below.
It is also worth noting that evidence showed that some schools were already teaching Sex Education but the quality was patchy around the country. Our surveys demonstrated that young people want to know more about how to have good relationships and how to deal with things when relationships are difficult.
In essence, interpersonal connection is essential to human thriving. The ability to cultivate relationships (friends, familial, professional or intimate) is vital to healthy development. I believe the RSE curriculum is a positive force for good.
Most parents, teachers or employers that want our young people to be more relationally capable, connect well with people and learn what is a healthy relationship or friendship. In secondary school they will learn about consent, sex and healthy intimate relationships.
If you want to see my charity’s submission to the first round of RSE consultation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education said this week:
“At the heart of preparing children for life in modern Britain is making sure that they understand the world they are growing up in. It is a world that is different from 20 years ago, when this guidance was last updated, and this is a significant step that will help young people to look after themselves and each other.
“A wide range of views were expressed during the public consultation, and I believe the guidance strikes the right balance. Our new guidance is clear that children should leave school having learnt about LGBT relationships.
“Children will of course find out about all sorts of things, including the diversity of our society, anyway – the question is where and how is it best to do so – in class, on the internet, or in the playground. I would strongly encourage schools to discuss with children in class that there are all sorts of different, strong and loving families, including families with same-sex parents, while they are at primary school.
“There is no reason why teaching children about the society that we live in and the different types of loving, healthy relationships that exist cannot be done in a way that respects everyone.”
Photo – slightly random but the last thing on my phone and taken while I was working on RSEDay for the day job.