We welcome the news that sex and relationships education is to be made compulsory in all schools in England. The Education Secretary Justine Greening recently confirmed this policy shift following months of campaigning from charities and MPs.
The current curriculum is years out of date and does not reflect the dangers faced by young people today. We’ve been pioneering education about healthy relationships for children and young people for many years now. Our award-winning GREAT Project helps primary school children to understand abuse and positive relationships, while our work in secondary schools tackles gangs, sexting and coercive control. It is hugely encouraging to know that all schools will be obliged to deliver expert, up to date education on these vital subjects rather than just some.
All children from the age of four will be taught about safe and healthy relationships and children in secondary schools will be given age-appropriate lessons about sex. A YouGov poll from Barnardo’s children’s charity earlier this year found 74 per cent of 11-15 year-olds said they would feel safer if they were taught about sex and relationships in school. The Government’s announcement will mean all schools across England are now bound by the same obligation and must include lessons on the dangers of online pornography, sexting and sexual harassment.