The Liberal Democrats have today backed calls for statutory Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) beginning in primary schools. Following similar commitments made last year by the Labour Party, this now represents two out of the three major political parties in Britain supporting calls to place good-quality and age-appropriate SRE on the national curriculum.
The British Humanist Association (BHA), which campaigns for good-quality and age-appropriate SRE as part of a statutory Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) curriculum, has enthusiastically backed this latest move. The BHA is also a core member of the Sex Education Forum, which recently launched the ‘SRE – It’s My Right’ campaign, in pursuit of full and comprehensive SRE for every pupil in England.
In a statement, the Education Minister David Laws called for the introduction of age-appropriate SRE to schools for pupils aged seven and up, and stated that this would be a Liberal Democrats manifesto commitment, commenting:
‘We have long made the case, both inside and outside government, for updated sex and relationship education to be taught in all schools, including academies and free schools… We believe that by educating children about sex and relationships in an appropriate way, we can help them to make informed choices in their personal lives. Currently, academies and free schools have no requirement to teach sex and relationship education, depriving children of important life lessons.’
The BHA’s Education Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘We are very pleased to see another political party has acknowledged the need for young people in all English schools to have a sex and relationships education, and hope we can soon achieve a political consensus on this issue across the three major parties. We would also call for a statutory provision of PSHE as well. Every young person is entitled to receive high quality, evidence-based education in PSHE, with no exceptions for religious schools. The evidence shows that this is the right approach in terms of delaying young people having sex, ensuring that when they do it is consensual and safe, and preventing unwanted outcomes such as STIs, teenage pregnancies, and abortion.’
For further comment or information, contact Pavan Dhaliwal at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0773 843 5059.
Visit the SRE – It’s my right campaign website: http://www.sexeducationforum.org.uk/its-my-right
Read about the launch of the campaign: https://humanists.uk/2014/06/06/bha-backs-launch-sre-right-campaign-submits-evidence-education-select-committee-inquiry-pshe-sre
Read the open letter in the Guardian signed by the BHA in June: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jun/05/teaching-sex-relationships
Read about the Education Select Committee inquiry into PSHE and SRE in schools:http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/education-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/pshe-and-sre-in-schools/
Read more about the BHA’s work on PSHE and sex and relationships education: https://humanists.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/school-curriculum/pshe-and-sex-and-relationships-education/
The BHA is a member of the Sex Education Forum and the PSHE Association.
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.