WHY RSE IN SCHOOLS MATTERS
WHAT WE’RE CALLING FOR
Young people have told us these issues matter to them – which is why we believe they must be included in the new RSE curriculum.
- Putting girls' experiences at the top of the agenda: we know that girls are disproportionately affected by the issues affecting young people. They face harassment at school, they’re scared every day on the street and they’re at greater risk of online abuse than their male counterparts. It’s vital that schools recognise this, if we’re to end gender-based violence in the UK.
- Preventing abuse in relationships: a curriculum that focuses on the social and emotional side of sex and relationships, as well as the physical and biological elements, can help young people reduce the risk of violence and abuse.
- Consent: as the #metoo movement has shown, we need to talk more about consent. Schools can play a vital role, supporting young people to understand what is - and is not - part of a healthy, consensual relationship both on and offline.
- Periods and menstruation: more than a quarter of girls in the UK (26%) didn't know what to do when their period started, while 48% say they feel embarrassed by their period. Better education about the social, emotional and physical aspects of menstruation, for both boys and girls, can help end the stigma.
- Life in the digital world: the RSE curriculum was last updated before Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat even existed. With almost half of all girls in the UK experiencing harassment or abuse online, RSE must reflect the reality of lives lived in the digital world. Girls have a right to be online, and that starts with education.
- Harmful Traditional Practices: girls of school age are at particular risk of practices including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. RSE can play a significant role in raising awareness and changing attitudes, so that young people are informed, empowered and know their rights.
- Education about pornography: 75% of young people say they want to be taught about online pornography at school – helping them understand what it represents and what its impacts might be.
"It allows you to be in control"
"I think learning about sex and relationship education is really important as it allows you to be in control and stop people taking advantage of you." - Ambrin, 15
From Muslim to Christian beliefs, from girls to boys, and from diverse sexual orientations – these young people all have one thing in common: they all called for mandatory Relationships and Sex Education.
Who’s supporting the campaign
"Digital mobile phones and 24-hour-a-day access to the online world are an everyday part of British childhood. As a result most children will have seen online pornography before they leave primary school and will have been asked for a sexual digital image of themselves by a friend before they leave secondary school.
“Parents and children know they need help and that is why I want compulsory lessons at school to help children better understand the signs of an abusive relationship, issues such as consent and the harm that is done by sexting and underage viewing of pornography.”
Maria Miller MP, Conservative party, Chair, Women and Equalities Select Committee
“It’s really important that the next generation of young people get the life skills they need to have healthy sex and relationships, by ensuring their sex education includes consent, LGBT relationships, STIs and HIV, not just reproduction and body parts.”
Jess Phillips MP, Labour Party
What the UK public say
READ MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
Here's why I'm standing with thousands of my peers across the country
SRE - it's more than just sex ed, it’s about relationships too. But what does that mean?