APPC Chair, Vera Baird QC said:
“Reports that plans have been drawn up to put the compulsory teaching of sex and relationships education in schools on a statutory footing are very encouraging.
“The APCC strongly supports the call for SRE to be put on a statutory basis. Police and Crime Commissioners across the country are experiencing a dramatic escalation in reports of child sexual exploitation. The recent Crime Survey shows that one in fourteen adults in England and Wales say that they were sexually assaulted in childhood.
“Even if these appalling crimes are now being met with effective police work and heavy sanction by the courts, by the time such crime is reported to the police, it is too late. Put simply, more must be done to prevent these crimes taking place in the first place and SRE is part of the solution.
“The evidence clearly demonstrates that SRE education can play a key role in helping keep children safe. Pupils who receive these lessons are more likely to report abuse, have consenting relationships and use contraception and are less likely to have unplanned pregnancies.
“SRE needs to be compulsory in all schools and the APCC are keen to work with the Government to find a way forward to make these changes to help protect all children.”