Gaps in sex education leave pupils at risk, campaigners warn

The TES is reporting a survey that suggests more than half of young people have not been taught at school how to recognise when someone is being groomed for sexual exploitation.

Half of youngsters had not been educated on how to get help if they are sexually abused, while a third (34 per cent) had been taught nothing about sexual consent at school, according to a report by the Sex Education Forum.

The campaign group is calling for statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) in all schools, after the survey – of more than 2,000 people aged 11 to 25 – revealed that sex education in schools is inconsistent.

The survey found that more than four in 10 young people had not learned about healthy or abusive relationships, 16 per cent had not learned the correct names for genitalia at primary school, and 17 per cent did not know that the genitals were private..

But the proportion of 11 to 25-year-olds who rated SRE at their school as “bad” or “very bad” has dropped from 28 per cent in 2011 to 22 per cent in 2015.

Lucy Emmerson, coordinator of the Sex Education Forum, said: “The odds of a young person learning vital information about equal, safe and enjoyable relationships are no different than the toss of a coin. The ultimate consequence of this is that many children don’t know how to recognise abusive behaviour or how to seek help.”

Earlier this month, MPs joined forces to urge the education secretary to make sex and relationship education statutory in all schools – including primary schools, academies and free schools…

More at: Gaps in sex education leave pupils at risk, campaigners warn


See also: Teach about sex abuse from start of primary school, says shadow minister


The calls for compulsory, age-appropriate sex and relationship education seem to be coming thick and fast but the government appears reluctant to move on from their current position which falls short of making this policy.

Any thoughts on why this is? Would you like to see SRE compulsory now in all schools? If not, why not?

Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Should primary school children be taught about sexual abuse?

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Guest post: Dr Mary Bousted on Regional School Commissioners
Teach about sex abuse from start of primary school, says shadow minister
Categories: Policy, Primary, Safeguarding and Secondary.


  1. Wargamer204

    SchoolsImprove Relationships are about sacrifice, wanting what’s best for the other. Enjoyable?!? Only happens through sacrifice.

  2. melanie_coxon

    SchoolsImprove absolutely.. CYP need to know the benefits of appropriate healthy relationships and vice versa..

  3. Busy Mum

    Some of us see the entire SRE program as state-sponsored grooming. Children do not need to be taught that genitals are private – it is a natural instinct.
    The onus needs to be on adults to behave themselves, not on children to ‘keep themselves safe’.

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