Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, when it comes to relationships and sex education (RSE) at school, it’s likely that you have been left in the dark.
It’s also likely that your school has been left in the dark too as the current government guidance for schools was created in 2000, which might even be before you were born.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom! From September 2019 RSE is going to become compulsory in all schools in England, and here is your chance to tell your schools and your MPs exactly what you need and want from it.
The ‘young people’s manifesto: what we want and need from RSE’ has been created by a group of young people working with the sexual health charities FPA and Brook.
The manifesto’s 12 points outline what is considered by young people to be the baseline for quality RSE – this means LGBTQ+ inclusive, age-appropriate education that is based on facts and not opinions and is taught by trained teachers.
Toby, 17, says:
“In 2017, being taught how about the sperm and the egg and how to use a condom, although important, is not good enough. 50 years on from the decriminalisation of homosexuality, I hope to see the day when LGBT+ inclusive RSE education is introduced. There’s no reason why that day can’t be the first day of term in September 2019.”
Elise, 15, adds:
“To me, high quality RSE is inclusive of everyone and whilst it does discuss the risks also talks and educates about the positive side to relationships and sex. Additionally RSE in schools must be consistent and not just a one-off lesson as a tick box.”
If you agree with Toby and Elise, now is your chance to make a stand for what you deserve. You can download the young people’s manifesto here, sign it and present it to your teacher, your head teacher or even your local MP. Have your say today!