Relationships and sex education (RSE) is vitally important for children and young people. However, the recent announcement from the government that they will be bringing forward a review of sex education in schools is a ‘scaremongering’ tactic that will have a negative impact on teachers and their lessons. This political exercise could inhibit good lessons and make schools and teachers overly cautious, leading to RSE that is not fit for purpose.
Calling out realistic RSE as a moral issue compounds the secrecy and shame around sex and young people, as well as inhibiting good education in a safe space. This risks children and young people not asking vitally important questions and relying on information from inadequate and potentially harmful sources. Children and young people need good RSE, which means that it must also be realistic and geared around keeping them safe and allowing them avenues to make informed decisions.
Young people have access to many forms of media information, we must recognise this as a society - supporting children and young people in negotiating sex and relationships safely. Rather than condemning schools and teachers the government could provide more resources to make sure that RSE provision is robust, relevant, and useful and most importantly, realistic.