In response to amendments being made to the Children and Social Work Bill, which would make it a statutory responsibility for all secondary schools – including academies and free schools – to provide sex and relationships education to their students, APCC Chair Dame Vera Baird QC said:
“The Association of Police and Crime believe that all schools should provide their students with personal, social and health education compulsory, with age-appropriate sex and relationships education as a mandatory element.
“These latest amendments show that MPs from across the political divide realise the importance of grasping this opportunity and it is now clear that the Government must take action and back this change.
“Sexting and sexual bullying have been on the increase for many years now: these amendments are therefore a vital safeguarding measure that will go a long way to enabling children and young people to keep themselves safe, both in real life and online.
“With research by Barnardo’s indicating that 75 per cent of secondary school-age pupils state that they would feel safer if their lessons covered sex and online relationships, now is the time for children and young people to be provided with clear messages on what is, and what is not, healthy and appropriate sexual behaviour. Education is every child’s right, therefore I welcome these amendments, which will enable children and young people across the country to make informed choices and to respect themselves, as well as one another.
“The Government must do the right thing and support this measure.”
Dame Vera Baird QC has added her name to an open letter to the Education Secretary, you can read it here.
Amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill can be found here.