The Lib Dems want sex and relationship education to be extended to pupils in all state schools in England, including those in academies and free schools.
Under current rules, sex and relationship education is compulsory in council-run secondary schools, but not for primary schools, academies and free schools. Liberal Democrat David Laws, the education minister, wants a significant extension of “age appropriate” sex education to every Key Stage 2 state pupil in England from the age of seven, the BBC reports.
Education is one of the areas where the Lib Dems have different educational priorities from their Coalition partners. “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,” David Laws said. “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.”
Labour said it has been calling for widening sex education for years, but that the Lib Dems had voted against a similar proposal earlier this year. “Only through ideas like compulsory sex and relationship education can we tackle the root causes of domestic abuse and give young people the tools and support they need to make informed decisions about their lives,” said shadow Home Office minister Seema Malhotra. “It is welcome that the Lib Dems have finally caught onto this agenda but they have had four years in government to take some action and have failed.”
Mr. Laws also wants PSHE to include lessons in citizenship and financial literacy, turning it into a “curriculum for life”.
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