Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has published a report advising teachers how best to provide sex education that meets the needs of all children – regardless of their gender or sexuality.
The advice from the Sex Education Forum, which is part of the NCB, focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues and will help schools deliver a sex and relationships education (SRE) curriculum that is inclusive for all their pupils.
Young people have repeatedly said that same-sex relationships and transgender people are often completely invisible in SRE and that the failure to discuss different families, gender identity and sexual orientation in school lessons is detrimental to their health and well-being.
Teachers have also called for support in creating LGBT-inclusive curriculum content for SRE. Currently, almost 40 per cent of primary school teachers and 30 per cent of secondary school teachers don’t know if they are allowed to teach about lesbian, gay or bisexual issues, yet changes to legislation for LGBT equality mean they have an obligation to prepare young people for life in a society that embraces equality.
Lucy Emmerson, Coordinator of the Sex Education Forum said: ‘For too long, young people have spoken about the damage done through poor quality or non-existent SRE. Ofsted share our concern and found in inspections that the casual use of homophobic language is commonplace in schools. The advice explains how love and respect are core values that run throughout good quality SRE and are essential for challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.’
Loren Wright, aged 21 and a METRO Youth Chances participant, added: ‘When I was at school, I knew I was different and this paired with the old fashioned and inaccessible sex education that was taught made me even more confused. LGBT issues are sorely needed in schools today, as everyone needs to be able to understand this information that has been held back for decades. It can help young people like me feel included, and with this inclusion bring LGBT young people out of their shells and can help create a truly diverse and loving atmosphere and environment within schools.’
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