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  1. ITV Report

Parents asked for views on new sex education curriculum in schools

Credit: PA

Parents are being asked what their children should be taught in school sex and relationship lessons.

A new curriculum is being developed following concerns the current advice is out of date and fails to address issues such as cyber-bullying, sexting and safety online.

The Government said it wants mothers and fathers as well as teachers and young people to give their views on what should be included.

Education Secretary Justine Greening announced earlier this year that sex and relationships education is to be made compulsory in all of England's schools.

The Department for Education is today launching an eight-week call for evidence, asking for views on age-appropriate content on topics to be included in sex and relationships education, including mental well-being and LGBT issues.

It is unacceptable that relationships and sex education (RSE) guidance has not been updated for almost 20 years especially given the online risks, such as sexting and cyber-bullying, our children and young people face.

Young people must have an education that teaches them the importance of healthy and stable relationships.

This call for evidence is about giving teachers, parents and especially young people a chance to help shape that new approach and I'd urge them to take part.

– Justine Greening

Relationships education is now compulsory in all primary schools, while sex and relationships education is compulsory in secondaries.

The call for evidence will look at areas such as what teachers think pupils should be taught, how parents expect children to be taught age-appropriate sex and relationships education, and what youngsters think they would benefit from being taught.

In February of this year ITV News reported that sex and relationship education would be updated with a new curriculum - and it would be compulsory at all schools, including religious free schools.

Under those new proposals parents would not be able to withdraw their children from relationship classes.

Parents would still be able to withdraw their children from sex education.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, said: "The current guidance, published 17 years ago, contains no mention of LGBT people.

"Schools that teach LGBT-inclusive RSE are in the minority, leaving many LGBT young people without the information they need to make safe, informed decisions.

"Just 13% of LGBT young people have learnt about healthy same-sex relationships.

"In schools where pupils receive an inclusive education, LGBT pupils are less likely to experience bullying. They are also more likely to report feeling safe, welcome and happy at school.

"We would encourage all pupils, teachers and parents to have their say to ensure schools offer a curriculum that serves all young people."