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Sex and Relationships Education Council Launched in Parliament this Week

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

20 May 2011

Sex and Relationships Education Council Launched in Parliament this Week

The Sex and Relationships Education Council – a new umbrella body representing sex and relationship education providers – was launched in Parliament this week.

At the meeting, attended by nine parliamentarians, a message was read on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education welcoming the new initiative – see below.

The Council has been formed to promote the best possible sex and relationship education both at home and at school, recognising the particular importance of enhancing the role played by parents in SRE. It is designed to improve connections between sex and relationship education providers who have significant expertise, working at the sharp end of service provision, and parliamentarians, government and civil servants.

Dan Boucher who spoke at the launch said, ‘We are delighted to be launching the SRE Council today and look forward to working closely with the government in the context of its review of SRE as part of its broader review of PSHE. There is much work to be done both in relation to our high levels of teenage pregnancy and STIs.’

David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, who chaired the event said: ‘I am delighted to be involved in launching the Sex and Relationships Council. It embraces very significant expertise that the government can benefit from in the context of the current review and beyond. It is vital that we develop a more parent centred approach to SRE if we are to significantly erode our high levels of teenage pregnancy and STIs.’

Notes

1) Message from Rt. Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education

‘I’m so sorry I can’t be with you at today’s event but I hope you will accept my best wishes for a successful launch.  Nothing is more important than making sure children grow up confident, safe and healthy.

And if we’re to ensure that our schools do the best possible job in preparing children for adult life then parents have to be given a bigger voice and clearer say in our education system.

As you will know, the Conservatives ensured that the last Government was stopped from legislating to impose centralised state controls on sex and relationship education.  We ensured the Labour Government were stopped when they wanted to remove parents’ right to remove children from inappropriate lessons.

We will continue to work with parents to ensure their rights and wishes are respected.  I look forward to working with you all in ensuring that the interests of families are put at the heart of our policies.’

2)      The founding members of the Council are: evaluate, Lovewise, Challenge Teams, LIFE, Silver Ring Thing, Family Education Trust and Right to Life.

2 Comments


  1. May 26, 2011
    1:48 pm

    Yvonne Stewart

    Appalling news. All reputable evidence points to early sex education as one of the most important factors in ensuring teenage pregnancy reductions. A Committee which is overpoweringly right-wing, anti-woman, anti-abortion, conservative and Christian is hardly the most encouraging, balanced or credible source of ‘sex and relationship education’.


  2. Nov 17, 2011
    5:08 pm

    Elinor Gray

    Yvonne said it all perfectly.

    Also, after the abstinence campain in America, didn’t teen pregnancy rates only rise?

    (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024658)

    Sexual Education was taught to me during my final year in Primary School in a small village in Scotland. It mainly focussed, of course, on menstruation, but we were also taught about sexual intercourse. Personally, I feel I benefitted from it, as when I had my first sexual experience (many years later, I might add!), I was clued up about contraception. I am lucky in the fact that I can talk to my mother about sexual health too (she used to be a nurse), but I have many friends who wouldn’t dream of it, and look to others to find out about what they should do. Many people I went to high school with (where sex education was taught in science for only a brief period of time – no one even paid attention in my class!) relied on information from their peers’ speculations rather than someone with solid knowledge.

    I go to a sexual health clinic once every 3 months for a check up and I feel comfortable talking to any of the nurses, who offer sound advice and always promote safe sex.

    There has only been one incident where I’ve had troubles. This was in Stafford, after an unfortunate incident involving a split condom. I required the Morning After Pill, but when I was sitting with the doctor and telling them what was happening, they refused to provide me with the medication because of the fact it interfered with their religious views, then proceded to tell me what they felt was the best course of action. I spent a long time trying to sort out a medical professional to talk to, who wouldn’t let their own personal beliefs affect my life in such a way. I feel that I am a strong – and rather overopinionated – person, but if I had gone into that room with little knowledge of sexual health, I would have been afraid and ashamed.

    Yes, I’m pro-choice, I don’t think that the choice should automatically be termination, but I feel that if you are fully clued up about how to prevent an unwanted pregancy – Contraception and abstinence included (I’ve been told by many a medical professional that “there’s always the option to not have sex” when asking for contraception, it’s good to offer options!) – in the first place, there is less of a chance of it occuring in the end!

    I know I’ve babbled on a bit, but hopefully I’ve provided you with a perspective from a younger woman (well, twenty years old)

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