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Tell us what you think about sex and relationships education

(7 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Oct-11 14:36:53

Hello

We've been asked to attend a roundtable event for parents and carers that will focus on the Coalition's internal review of the PSHE curriculum. (We're not taking money or payment of any kind for this - it's purely a chance for us to reflect your views). So if you can spare the time, we'd be grateful for your thoughts on the following:

1) Should PSHE be part of the statutory National Curriculum?
2) How much flexibility should schools have in the way they deliver PSHE lessons?
3) Do teachers want or need further training in delivering PSHE?
4) What are the implications for faith schools?
5) Does PSHE need to be sensitive to diverse cultures and faiths?
6) Should parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationships education?
7) Those of you whose children have already had some PSHE/SRE classes; what's your opinion of how the children have benefitted (or not), the materials, and your school's consultation with the parents?

Plus, as ever, all the things I've forgotten that you will inevitably think of.

Thanks,
MNHQ x

CaptainNancy Mon 17-Oct-11 15:11:49

Not time at present to give full consideration Rowan, but main thing for me is that there should be absolutely no right of withdrawal from sex and relationship education, and all faith schools should have to deliver whatever the NC on SRE is.

I think there are some children who desperately need information in this area and they do not get it.

Tyr Mon 17-Oct-11 15:17:36

1) Should PSHE be part of the statutory National Curriculum? Yes
2) How much flexibility should schools have in the way they deliver PSHE lessons? The same degree of flexibility than they are afforded in delivering any other part of the curriculum.
3) Do teachers want or need further training in delivering PSHE? Yes, I would imagine they do.
4) What are the implications for faith schools? Hopefully it will help put them out of business for good but I'm not even cautiously optimistic about that.
5) Does PSHE need to be sensitive to diverse cultures and faiths? No, it is a matter of biology primarily.
6) Should parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationships education? No, they shouldn’t.
7) Those of you whose children have already had some PSHE/SRE classes; what's your opinion of how the children have benefitted (or not), the materials, and your school's consultation with the parents?

fiftieshousewife Mon 17-Oct-11 16:23:35

I pretty much agree with the two responses so far I think. I like Tyr's answer to 2). 3) - I have no idea. 4) Tbh I'm not very interested in the well-being of faith schools. 5) Guess it's a balancing act; if PHSE can be delivered sensitively then more chance of sexually uptight parents allowing their kids to go to the lessons. 6) My instinct is 'no'; this information is too important to children for this to be a matter of conscience for parents. 7) Mine are still too young.

1) Should PSHE be part of the statutory National Curriculum? Yes
2) How much flexibility should schools have in the way they deliver PSHE lessons? The same degree of flexibility than they are afforded in delivering any other part of the curriculum.
3) Do teachers want or need further training in delivering PSHE? Yes, I would imagine they do.
4) What are the implications for faith schools? Hopefully it will help put them out of business for good but I'm not even cautiously optimistic about that.
5) Does PSHE need to be sensitive to diverse cultures and faiths? No, it is a matter of biology primarily.
6) Should parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationships education? No, they shouldn’t.
7) Those of you whose children have already had some PSHE/SRE classes; what's your opinion of how the children have benefitted (or not), the materials, and your school's consultation with the parents?

afussyphase Mon 17-Oct-11 16:55:57

1) Should PSHE be part of the statutory National Curriculum?
--YES. it is important. Rates of STIs and teen pregnancy are higher in areas (of the US) where so-called abstinence education is the norm. And alternatives to mainstream PHSE seem more often pushed by religious and/or conservative views than motivated by any evidence about childrens' and young peoples' well-being.
2) How much flexibility should schools have in the way they deliver PSHE lessons?
-- Not much at all
3) Do teachers want or need further training in delivering PSHE?
-- probably (no experience here)
4) What are the implications for faith schools?
-- I do not support faith schools and am happy enough if this undermines them. If they take public funds they should support evidence-based public health and education relating to public health, including education regarding sex, relationships, reproduction and so on. In general if they accept public funds they should have to follow the standard curriculum.
5) Does PSHE need to be sensitive to diverse cultures and faiths?
-- No.
6) Should parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationships education?
-- No.
7) Those of you whose children have already had some PSHE/SRE classes; what's your opinion of how the children have benefitted (or not), the materials, and your school's consultation with the parents?
-- my children are too young.

TottWriter Thu 27-Oct-11 15:49:35

Don't know if it's too late to reply to this, but oh well. Saw it on the twitter (don't normally visit Site Stuff)

1) Should PSHE be part of the statutory National Curriculum?
- It should be, absolutely! It's one of those subjects which you don't really understand as a student, and the current implementation is often too vague (it was at my school), but it's one of the most important things for schools to get right. You can go back and re-take pretty much every other subject, but you only get puberty etc. once.

2) How much flexibility should schools have in the way they deliver PSHE lessons?
- I think a small amount, so as to vary a little of the presentation of certain aspects. It's not good having the same rote message about safe sex for private school children as you have at a comprehensive in a rough area - one of those two groups won't consider that it applies to them. You have to tell children things in a way that they feel is relevant for them - but the facts they walk away with should be the same across the country.

3) Do teachers want or need further training in delivering PSHE?
- Very probably. I don't remember any teacher at schools I attended really engaging me with PSHE. Most of what they did was press play on a video and the class immediately switched off.

4) What are the implications for faith schools?
- I don't particularly care. The importance of teaching children what has, will and can happen to their bodies outweighs the rights of people to pick and choose which facts of life their children are informed about as far as I'm concerned.

5) Does PSHE need to be sensitive to diverse cultures and faiths?
- I think a certain amount of sensitivity is needed so as to engage with people from varying cultures and faiths, otherwise, realistically, they will opt out of lessons or just pull their children from schools on the days the more "sensitive" subjects are taught. How something is dressed can do a lot to change peoples opinions of its contents.

6) Should parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationships education?
- I don't think they should - there's a lot of information that is taught in them which is vital for people to know. However, there's no way to stop people just keeping their children out of school on the days it is taught, and I that not consulting parents about it will, in the long run, be far worse.

7) Those of you whose children have already had some PSHE/SRE classes; what's your opinion of how the children have benefitted (or not), the materials, and your school's consultation with the parents?
- I don't have children old enough to have had SRE education, but I can relate a little of my own experience, or the general lack thereof. I am 24, so had my "talk" over a decade ago in year 5, and all I really learned from it was the gist of what puberty did to the body. A few years later, we had a "talk" at secondary school which gave us a little more information about the basic mechanics of sex, but I don't remember being told anything about safe sex or contraception. It was just "how babies are made" really.

Now, my son was born as a direct result of my ignorance on the subject, and while I personally wouldn't trade him for the world, the fact remains that I wouldn't have been faced with an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 20 had I been taught about contraceptives more effectively. I essentially knew about condoms and that was it. I actually got a more effective lesson in contraception after I gave birth than I ever did as an adolescent. To me, that is an utter disgrace, and my parents didn't object to me having SRE. In fact they left my school to do all the talking.

joannabristol2016 Tue 02-Feb-16 16:34:24

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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