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Relationships and Sex Education Digest

January 2015


Parliamentary news and current affairs

Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Reform, provided evidence to the Education Select Committee’s inquiry into PSHE and SRE
Nick Gibb stated that the Department for Education view PSHE and SRE to be incredibly important, citing the ‘SRE for the 21st Century’ guidance. He did not commit to statutory status but said that the Department will continue to look at the issue (18 December)


An NAHT press release backed a requirement for sex and relationship education to be an entitlement for every pupil, saying “NAHT hopes that the government will prioritise bringing the teaching of SRE and PSHE into law.” (19 December)


Education Secretary Nicky Morgan delivered a speech at the 3 December launch of Girlguiding's 'Girls Attitudes' survey. In the speech, she said that "young women should be safe, have high aspirations, be happy and healthy, and be supported to build character" as well as talking about gender stereotypes around jobs, bullying and sexual harassment of girls, mental health and body confidence (3 December)


David Cameron spoke at the #WeProtect Children Online summit in London and announced new plans to tackle child abuse on the internet. The Serious Crime Bill when passed will make it illegal for an adult to send a sexual communication to a child (11 December)


Reports and Surveys

The Girls Attitudes survey commissioned by Girlguiding was launched on 3rd December.
It surveyed girls’ attitudes on issues like sex and relationships, and body image (3 December)


Comment and Opinion Pieces

A blog for the Huffington Post by Seema Malhotra, Shadow Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls explains the need for “high quality, age appropriate and non-patronising sex and relationships education.”
(19 December)


A Guardian article on the lack of support or awareness around abusive student relationships mentions the possible contribution PSHE lessons could make, and the impact of statutory SRE (1 December)


A Guardian article by Everyday Sexism’s Laura Bates argues that ‘sexual harassment is part of daily life for British girls’ and talks about the need for better PSHE and SRE. (2 December)


A Guardian article entitled ‘Protecting children and young people from sex abuse is a job for all of us’ says that the lack of statutory PSHE provision is symptomatic of a lack of awareness around rape, and victim-blaming (4 December)


A blog for the Huffington Post entitled ‘Shia LaBeouf Was ‘Raped’? You Must Be Kidding…” explores male victimhood and argues for the introduction of compulsory SRE to address the gender norms which tell men that they can’t be victims and women that they are unable to sexually assault (4 December)