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Big win for students on sex and relationship education

Wednesday 01-03-2017 - 13:52

Sex and relationship education (SRE) is set to be made compulsory in schools under plans unveiled by the government today.

NUS has been campaigning for SRE for years, alongside a wide range of organisation including the Terence Higgins Trust and Student Pride. We have consistently argued that learning about healthy relationships is a vital part of children and young people's learning and therefore welcome the announcement from Education Secretary Justine Greening that SRE will be made compulsory in all schools.

In 2014 we found that 90 per cent of students were in favour of SRE being a legal requirement, and earlier this year students sent Valentine's cards to their MPs asking them to support this change.

Melantha Chittenden, NUS LGBT+ Officer, Women’s Place, said:

“NUS have been campaigning for compulsory SRE for years, and I’m really pleased to see this announcement be made today. Our pioneering research on harassment and consent in universities shows how important it will be that statutory SRE covers these issues in particular. The fight doesn’t end here: we need to carry on our lobbying efforts to ensure that this compulsory sex and relationship curriculum covers issues relevant to all types of relationships. Only then will the benefits of this welcome change be reaped by young LGBT+ people.”

Rob Young, NUS Vice President, Society and Citizenship, said:

“It’s a welcome change to see the government wanting to implement SRE following extensive lobbying of MPs by NUS and others. Now we need to go further with our efforts in educating children and young people in safe and healthy relationships.”

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