LGBTQIA issues could be taught in UK classrooms for the first time ever
In a ground breaking move, the UK government could be including LGBTQIA+ issues in their sex education curriculum. The curriculum may also include issues regarding sexting and pornography.
Where does inclusion begin? Or rather, when is the right time to introduce the concept of respect for diversity in our modern day living? While most would say anytime is a good time, the real win for inclusion would come if it were ingrained in the education system. Now as a part of sex education, for the first time ever, LGBTQIA+ issues could be taught as a curriculum in the United Kingdom!
This is the most groundbreaking move in the past two decades in Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), reported the Independent.
Parents, teachers, and students are being called upon by the government to help shape a new RSE curriculum that will equip the young generation to safely make their way through the banana skins of modern life.
This is the first time ever that an opportunity for LGBT+ issues to be written into the national curriculum has been presented since the abolition of Section 28. This clause in the Local Government Act explicitly forbade "promotion of homosexuality" by local authorities - including schools and councils. It was put into place by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1988.
An eight-week consultation has been launched by the UK Government giving people a chance to have their say on the inclusion of issues like sexting, pornography, and mental wellbeing.
Human rights activists are thrilled at the announcement. Peter Tatchell, who has been an activist and LGBT+ rights campaigner for 40 years, told the Independent that the introduction of LGBT+ issues into the school curriculum was long overdue. "LGBT+ pupils are some of the most vulnerable and under-served pupils in the school system," he said. "They mostly lack affirmation of their identity and the provision of life-saving safer-sex advice. Nearly half suffer bullying, which can have negative knock-on effects, including truancy, academic under-achievement, depression, anxiety, and self-harm."
Read his tweet :
Education Dept confirms that planned mandatory Relationship & Sex Education (RSE) in schools will address LGBT+ issues. But parents will be able to withdraw their kids & religious schools will be able to teach #RSE in accordance with their faith. SEE: https://t.co/u9dbHicdib pic.twitter.com/3EEaJvI2Ms— Peter Tatchell (@PeterTatchell) December 17, 2017
Justine Greening, education secretary, said: "It's unacceptable that RSE guidance has not been updated for almost 20 years, especially given the online risks, such as sexting and cyberbullying, our children and young people face.
"Young people must have an education that teaches them the importance of healthy and stable relationships."
It’s time to update relationships & sex education to cover 21st-century issues - such as sexting, cyberbullying and staying safe online. We want everyone, including parents, teachers and young people, to have their say. My article for @tes: https://t.co/GVkPFEnLUw— Justine Greening (@JustineGreening) December 19, 2017
Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall UK retweeted her and told the publication, "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 percent of LGBT+ young people have learned about health 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." She added, "We've been approached by many teachers who want to deliver inclusive education, but lack the confidence or knowledge to do so. We would encourage all pupils, teachers, and parents to have their say to ensure schools offer a curriculum that serves all young people."
Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, that works with HIV awareness and education, sexual health and others told Huff Post, "In order to help tackle high rates of sexually transmitted infections among young people and ensure that all young people have the information they need to make informed decisions about relationships, we must see a strong emphasis on neglected topics such as sexual health and LGBT inclusion in this guidance. It’s vital that young people are at the heart of this initial consultation to ensure this is done right.”
He also welcomed opinions on Twitter.
Today @educationgovuk has launched its hugely important consultation on Relationships and Sex Education. Don't miss the opportunity to have your say: https://t.co/INOJaJ5T6s— Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) December 19, 2017
This is a seminal moment to lay the foundations for quality #RSE lessons for every young person. pic.twitter.com/w5mwXASWvp
The Department for Education is seeking views from parents, staff and pupils about the future of Relationship & Sex Education in both primary and secondary schools. Share your views here https://t.co/Fca93loPfK— Byron Primary School (@ByronSchool) December 20, 2017
The call for evidence will be lead by Ian Bauckham, who is a headteacher of a large 11-18 Church of England comprehensive in Kent and a National Leader of Education (NLE).
"Since I started work as a teacher more than 30 years ago, enormous changes have taken place both in the lives of young people and in the wider world in which we are preparing them to live," he said.
"I hope that the call for evidence being launched now gives us the chance to find out about the best teaching and to improve provision for all our young people in all types of schools."
We want to hear from #youngpeople, #parents & #teachers to help shape the new #RSE curriculum so it enables young people to stay safe and face the challenges of the modern world https://t.co/C72dAt34p5 #RSE pic.twitter.com/X9GUTvQhIW— DfE (@educationgovuk) December 19, 2017
It is definitely an inclusive move for the LGBTQIA+ community. When will the world catch up, though?
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