UKSIC joins call to bring sex education into the internet age

06 Sep 2013 UK SIC

This week, leading SRE experts have been calling on the UK government to update the teaching guidance for sex and relationships education.

At the UK Safer Internet Centre, we are calling on David Cameron to support and prioritise the update of the teaching guidance for SRE. It was published in 2000 but over the last decade we have seen an explosion in the use of digital technologies and social networking sites, particularly among young people. The central importance of digital technology in young people’s lives has an impact on sex and relationships, and it is essential that topics such as pornography and sexting (the sending of sexually explicit images or messages) are addressed in sex and relationships education. Young people, parents and teachers want topics like sexting and pornography included in SRE lessons, but schools need guidance to support them to achieve this.

At the UK Safer Internet Centre, all three partner organisations view this as a priority and are working on guidance and resources to support parents and teachers in updating sex education for children and young people in a digital age.

Support from across the education and SRE sector

Childnet signed a joint letter published in The Telegraph, with other leading SRE experts and educators.

Highlights from the letter:

“Schools have out-of-date guidance, which was published 13 years ago by the Department for Education and Employment. This pre-dates the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act and the 2010 Equalities legislation which requires schools to take account of gender equality when teaching young people about non-violent, respectful relationships.

The Government SRE guidance is also behind the times on technology and safeguarding, with no reference to addressing on-line safety, ‘sexting’ or pornography in SRE.

We call on the Government to work with professionals in the sector to produce up-dated SRE guidance. This, we believe, would send out a clear message to schools that SRE is an absolute requirement, and that high standards must be met.”

Join the conversation #bettersexeducation

The Telegraph are promoting a petition to urge David Cameron to act on this:

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