Parents, frustrated that their children currently face a postcode lottery when it comes to getting the best relationships and sex education, are speaking out in response to a government consultation on the subject.
And the sexual health charity FPA has today published guidance to help parents give their views to the Department for Education.
After decades of campaigning, the government announced last March that, from 2019, every school in England will have to teach relationships and sex education (RSE).
The government is now asking for people’s views on what should be included in official guidance for both primary and secondary schools.
They particularly want to hear the views of parents and carers, to help them shape the new advice to meet the needs of all young people.
The guidance will outline the topics the government expects schools to cover, and the way they expect teachers to deliver RSE lessons.
The sexual health charity FPA, which supports parents across the UK, has today published guidance to support parents to respond to the government’s consultation, before it closes on 12 February.
Mother of three, Samantha Evans, explained why this is so important to her:
“My daughter Milly is about to leave school at 18 without ever having been taught some of the most basic parts of relationship and sex education. Luckily, I was able to explain those to her at home, but it’s simply not acceptable for this not to be covered in school as well.
“At one point, other students in her year were taught about condoms: but the school somehow forgot to include my daughter’s class, along with another one. That’s 60 students who weren’t taught vital information just because of an error with the rota.
“I know other children who were given amazing RSE at school – why should my daughter miss out on such an important part of education just because her school failed to teach it? That’s why I’ve told the government what I wish she had been taught, and I’d encourage other parents to do the same.”
Natika Halil, Chief Executive of the sexual health charity, said:
“While some schools do a fantastic job, for decades parents have told us that they’re unhappy about the poor quality of relationship and sex education in many schools – but they’ve been frustrated at how little they can do to change that.
"For the next few weeks, parents have a historic opportunity to transform the relationships and sex education their children will receive in the future. I'd encourage all parents to seize this opportunity. Responding to the consultation only takes a few minutes, and our guidance clearly walks you through it step by step. It could really help make sure your child gets the high-quality education they deserve."