Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Whatever happened to our hope of statutory sex and relationships education

I woke up this morning feeling perky, hopeful that sex and relationships education would make it through the 'legislative wash up' and become statutory in all state funded schools. So imagine my disdain and concern when I found out earlier today the clauses to make sex and relationships education statutory in the Children, Schools and Families Bill have been dropped over the parental right of withdrawal.

I was hopeful with good cause I think - we have loads of evidence about the importance of SRE in preventing teenage pregnancy and improving young lives and there is a strong broad consensus amongst children, parents and professionals that it is important in helping keep children safe from harm.

This section of the Children, Schools and Families Bill must not be allowed to fall at the last hurdle. Regardless of the politics we must hang our heads in shame if we let down another generation of children and young people by failing to ensure sex and relationships education is statutory in every school.

It is inconceivable that more young people could be allowed to experience the shame, fear and embarrassment about sex and their bodies that we see at Brook clinics every single day. Sex and relationships education is vital to protect children and young people from harm and enables them to enjoy their relationships safely. It is right and moral that schools provide it to complement and supplement what children are taught at home or to fill the gap if they are not.

The link to Brook’s full statement is here: