Student views on SRE

90% of students back call for statutory SRE

A survey by the National Union of Students, has found that 90% of students want to see sex and relationships education (SRE) become statutory in schools. This survey of over 2,500 students gives young people the loudspeaker in calling for legislative change so that all schools teach SRE. 

The findings also reveal the gaps in what is taught, with consent not discussed as part of school lessons for two thirds of respondents, relationships covered for less than half, and not even a fifth discussed LGBT issues in SRE. Unsurprisingly more than a third felt their SRE did not rate positively on equality and diversity.

Most students had learnt about puberty (87%), contraception (87%) and sexual health (82%) but that still leaves thousands of young people leaving school without having learnt the biological basics. 

Overall, less than a third of students rated their school SRE as good or very good - which is similar to findings from our survey of young people a year ago. The shabby state of SRE is also evident from the finding that only 1 in 5 (21%) respondents felt comfortable to ask questions in SRE classes. 

The survey has been published (29 January 2015) to coincide with a day of action encouraging students to campaign on youth issues. The full survey report adds fresh evidence to back our SRE - It's my right campaign for statutory SRE.  


NUS Vice President Colum McGuire said:

“Inadequate SRE puts young people at risk. I find it alarming that sexual partners are listed as a top SRE source by our respondents. Consider this in light of the fact that consent was never even raised for two thirds of respondents.

Jane Lees, Chair, Sex Education Forum said:

 “Consent and relationship safety are real issues affecting students and sadly they are leaving school with little or no discussion on these topics.  These survey findings hand young people the loudspeaker in calling for statutory sex and relationships education.”

Find out more about our SRE - It's my right campaign for statutory SRE and how you can get involved.