UK: Charity coalition calls for statuatory LGBT-inclusive sex education

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A coalition of charities and teachers’ groups has called for LGBT-inclusive sex education lessons to be mandatory for all schools.

An open letter calling for statutory sex and relationship education was signed by officials from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the NSPCC, Stonewall, and the Sex Education Forum, among others.

Published in the Guardian last week, it reads: “Statutory sex and relationships must apply to all schools, including primary schools and academies, and pupils must be guaranteed to learn medically correct facts about their bodies.

“Teaching must be pro-active in promoting gender and LGBT equality, and relationships education should count for at least half of that teaching.

“There is overwhelming support from parents, young people, teachers and health professionals to improve such teaching, so we urge our leaders to give it the statutory status it so urgently needs.”

“All children and young people need age-appropriate teaching. If pupils approaching puberty don’t learn the proper names of sexual parts of the body, and those in secondary school are taught little or nothing about consensual relationships or sexual health, we are failing in our duty to safeguard pupils.”

Last month, NHS boards in Scotland were criticized by religious groups, after lobbying ministers to weaken parents’ ability to opt out of sex education.

In Hawaii last week, it was announced sex education would teach more about the ‘risks’ of anal sex, and be taught on an opt in basis, after fears of ‘normalising’ sexuality.