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Relationships and Sex Education Digest

October 2014


Parliamentary news and current affairs

There were a number of developments this month related to statutory PSHE and SRE:

The Liberal Democrats have made a manifesto commitment to statutory PSHE education including age-appropriate SRE from the age of seven – in maintained schools, academies and free schools (8 September). Read the statement:


A number of Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative MPs and peers have expressed their support for statutory PSHE education ahead of the Second Reading of a bill to bring in statutory PSHE to take place on 24 October.

Supportive MPs include Justice Minister Simon Hughes, Labour MP Diane Abbott, and Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston. Read Pink News articles:


3 teaching unions – NUT, NAHT and ATL – have backed statutory PSHE (4 September). Read PSHE Association article:


Yvette Cooper has called for compulsory SRE to change boys attitudes in schools in order to tackle violence against women and girls (19 September). Read the Daily Mail article:


Nicky Morgan has backed an EVAW Coalition resource on sex education, including teaching on abuse and exploitation, rape and domestic violence. (29 September). Read the Daily Mail article:

New Cambridge students will attend compulsory sexual consent workshops, (22 September). Read the Guardian article:


Recent Events and Campaigns

A coalition of LGBTI organisations and campaigners have written an open letter
to political leaders in the UK, highlighting the 'urgent' need for statutory SRE, which is also appropriate for LGBTI young people (16 September). Read the press release:

A coalition of organisations - including - Mumsnet, EVAW Coalition, and the Everyday Sexism Project - have launched a petition calling for compulsory SRE in primary and secondary to combat negative attitudes about sex and relationships (24 September). Read the Independent article:

Girl Guiding UK released their manifesto consisting of 8 ‘calls for change’ aimed at policymakers, as part of their #GirlsMatter campaign. These include calls for statutory PSHE and SRE, and encourage schools to teach about gender equality and body confidence (9 September). Read the manifesto:

Ed Miliband and Gloria De Piero MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, have both voiced their support for Girl Guiding UK’s manifesto (9 September) . Read their statements:

Gay rights charity Stonewall have urged schools to help them 'kick homophobia out of football' using the Rainbow Laces campaign (13 September). Read the TES article:


Reports and Surveys

Barnardos published a report on the sexual exploitation of boys, noting that  they comprised around 11% of victims.
The report recommended ‘high quality, age appropriate’. Read the report:

IPPR published a report on young people’s attitudes to sex and relationships, which found a ‘clear majority view’ in favour of teaching SRE in schools. Read the report:


Rotherham council pushed a report on sexual abuse in Rotherham. The report mentions that victims were ‘scathing’ of the sex education they received.

Sexual health charity FPA launched a survey on emergency contraception showing that only 17% of women had learnt about emergency contraception at school or college. Read the report:

Comment and Opinion Pieces

Peter Tatchell has written a piece for the Guardian on the need for statutory SRE which is inclusive of LGBTI young people.
(19 September) Read the Guardian article:


Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism, has written articles in the Independent and the Guardian explaining the need for SRE as part of PSHE.  Read Independent and Guardian articles :


Simon Blake of Brook Charity has given an interview to the Guardian calling for statutory sex education and more training for teachers. (29 September) Read the Guardian article: