SRE - It's my right - media release

Campaigners call for statutory sex and relationships education, as teachers say training is inadequate.

 

Press release: Embargoed until: 00:01am Friday 6th June 2014

  • In a survey of sex and relationships education (SRE) teachers, 7 out of 10 (68%) said they need more training to be able to teach good quality SRE.
  • The Sex Education Forum launch the ‘It’s my right’ campaign to guarantee every pupil, in every school, high quality sex and relationships education, as part of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.

To mark the launch of the ‘It’s my right’ campaign calling for SRE as part of PSHE, the Sex Education Forum has published a survey that suggests teachers are inadequately trained to teach the subject.

7 out of 10 (68%) sex education teachers consulted by the Sex Education Forum, based at leading children’s charity the National Children’s Bureau, said they need more training to be able to provide quality teaching in the subject. An overwhelming 90% of SRE teachers think they should have been given the option to train as specialists in PSHE at initial teacher training, confirming findings from an earlier study in which 3% of teachers said initial teacher training on SRE was adequate. 15% of the schools surveyed teach SRE through drop-down, off-timetable days only.

The campaign, which is supported by over 30 organisations and CEOs, shows how providing SRE as part of an entitlement to statutory PSHE would transform the subject. Statutory status would allow SRE to be treated the same as other subjects – with teachers getting the training they need and enough time being allocated in the time-table for this vital subject to address real life issues including respectful relationships, domestic violence and consent.

The campaign is launched at a vital time for SRE. The Education Select Committee today starts to consider evidence for its inquiry investigating if PSHE ought to be statutory, while Ofsted has recently reported that SRE is inadequate in a third of schools.This situation is unlikely to improve under current requirements that mean schools can opt out of SRE for all but a handful of science topics and primary schools have no obligation to teach vital information to help safeguard children from abuse.

Jane Lees, Chair of the Sex Education Forum said:
“For too long young people have been telling us about what they wish they had learnt in school about consent and relationships and how better knowledge of their body and sexual health facts could have kept them safer and healthier." 

"As the Education Select Committee opens its inquiry, we are calling for all political parties’ commitment to make SRE statutory. Standing up for statutory SRE is a move that political leaders can be proud of, and we know that young people, parents and teachers support it."


To find how you can get involved in the ‘It’s my right’ campaign: visit www.sexeducationforum.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @sex_ed_forum / #SREitsmyright 

-ENDS-

For more information please contact the National Children's Bureau's media office on 0207 843 6045 / 47 or email media@ncb.org.uk. For urgent enquiries out of office hours call 07721 097 033.

 

Notes to editors 


About the survey
A survey of 208 SRE teachers in England was conducted online between 28 Feb and 30 May 2014.

As well as the results detailed above, the survey also showed:

  • 21% of SRE teachers don’t know if their school has a SRE policy and 6% don’t have a policy.
  • There is no SRE in a handful of the schools surveyed (2%).

About the Sex Education Forum
The Sex Education Forum is the national authority on sex and relationships education (SRE). We believe that good quality SRE is an entitlement for all children and young people and we are working with our member organisations - including religious, children's, parents, health and education organisations - to achieve this. For further information visit: www.sexeducationforum.org.uk 

About the National Children's Bureau
The National Children's Bureau (NCB) is a leading charity that for 50 years has been improving the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. We work with children and for children, to influence government policy, be a strong voice for young people and practitioners, and provide creative solutions on a range of social issues. For more information visit www.ncb.org.uk