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Guaranteeing sex education in state schools

August 26, 2014 12:01 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Children in state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, will be guaranteed age appropriate sex and relationship education under manifesto plans announced by the Liberal Democrats.

The plans will also include a curriculum guarantee of teaching pupils financial literacy and citizenship lessons.

This 'Curriculum for Life' means that Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) will be compulsory in all state-funded schools to ensure that children are taught these valuable life skills.

Making PSHE compulsory is a move that has been strongly resisted by Conservatives inside the coalition government.

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws said:

"It is vitally important that children learn all the life skills they need when they are at school, and Liberal Democrats believe that should include learning financial literacy, citizenship and age-appropriate sex and relationship education.

"We have long made the case, both inside and outside Government, for updated sex and relationship education to be taught in all schools, including academies and free schools, but it is not something the Conservatives are open to. We believe that by educating children about sex and relationships in an appropriate way we can help them to make informed choices in their personal lives and ensure that they have the best opportunity to succeed in life.

"Currently academies and free schools have no requirement to teach sex and relationship education, depriving children of important life lessons. Liberal Democrats are committed to ensuring that children have access to age-appropriate sex and relationship education regardless of where they go to school.

"By learning how to manage money and be a good citizen, we will be equipping children with the skills necessary to deal with the many practical issues that they will face in adult life, such as balancing a budget or voting for the first time.

"Teaching these important life lessons will help to build the stronger economy and fairer society that Liberal Democrats want to see."