All our kids should have sex education – but we need to overcome the hurdle of teachers

Under the Government’s new outline The Mirror reports that this will become compulsory in all secondary schools. 

When I read the Government is going to undertake a radical overhaul of sex and relationship education in schools I let out a whoop of joy. It’s been a long time coming.

Fifteen or so years ago I was a consultant to broadcaster Channel 4 which was planning a series of SRE programmes to be shown in schools from the age of five.

But we had to overcome a major first hurdle – teachers.

Teachers were allowed to opt out and not show the programmes – which they did in large numbers – so the project bit the dust.

Surely we can get further than that now? Under the Government’s new outline, children will learn about healthy adult relationships from the age of four and sex education will become compulsory in all secondary schools.

Between a quarter and a third of 16 to 18-year-old girls have had to cope with unwanted sexual touching at school and three-quarters are anxious about harassment.

There are rafts of evidence showing that good sex and relationship ­education delivered by motivated people is highly effective. It’s also most effective when part of a broader life-skills programme dedicated to preparing the young for the world of work and beyond.

I’m thrilled the Government is taking action. We must ensure sex and relationship education is available to all. It should be embedded within the wider curriculum. Our young people deserve nothing less.

Read more All our kids should have sex education – but we need to overcome the hurdle of teachers

Will teachers still try to opt out of teaching sex education? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin

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