As of September 2020 Relationship and Sex Education will be a compulsory part of the curriculum in the UK!! *insert celebratory cheers and party poppers*. This is a hugely important thing for the education of children as sex and relationships are a significant part of peoples lives and is something which needs to be taught as a lot of issues can arise from these if not educated properly. Now I have not seen the topics on the sex ed curriculum which will be issued this year so I thought I would share my own personal list of topics which I feel like should be taught in primary schools and then also what should be taught in secondary schools. The idea of relationship and sex education has caused uproar especially in some communities due to religious beliefs, this was very prevalent in Birmingham in the past few months as there was objections to children learning about the LGBT communities in sex and relationship education.
I personally believe that regardless to faith of the children, parents or school staff should provide the children with a well rounded accurate sex and relationship education because all children should be entitled to the correct information in case they come into a situation which could require that information. For example if a child of faith is feeling uncomfortable and wrong within themselves they should have access to information about different sexualities, sexes and genders so that they can explore and become comfortable within themselves. I feel like a religion or culture should not limit children’s education and right to knowledge because children and in turn people in general are multidimensional and can be a person of faith but be sexually active. A person of faith shouldn’t be seen as 2D and can only be a person of faith but as a human being with needs and curiosity.
Something which I feel is significant to add is this legislation states that ‘special schools’ and faith schools must also teach sex and relationships education. I have heard so many people who have been educated in faith schools talk about how they had very little to no sex and relationships education which has caused them to be naive to and unaware of situations which could potentially put them in danger. Some people who have had a little bit of the sex and relationships education were misinformed by the faith schools to align the child with their beliefs instead of giving biological facts. So to me I can understand why the legislation specifies that faith schools. Alongside this it is also stated that parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from these lessons and so it is really apparent that there is a real push for properly and accurately educating children on sex and relationships.
My Manifesto for Primary School Relationships Education
My Manifesto For Secondary School Sex and Relationships Education Curriculum
LGBT community and relationships
Now for secondary school children I believe they are in a much more capable mindset to understand and respect much more in-depth and personal topics within sex and relationships education. However the law behind this curriculum does state it has to be age appropriate which is something really important to me when creating my personal manifesto.
One major thing which should be definitely covered during the sex and relationships education should be the LGBTQ+ community and also relationships within that. I feel like children should be aware of all of the different ‘labels’ in that community so that they can make informed decisions when they are ready to and also can reduce any feelings of being excluded or lost or confused due to their sexuality and romance-preference. Within this gender/sex issues should also be addressed so that children can become educated on the terms such as transgender so that they can be much more compassionate towards that community but also be understanding that this could be something which may effect their own lives.
Within the LGBTQ+ relationships topics, family structures and types of relationships should be explored. There should be educational talks on same sex families and also polyamorous families. This creates an equality throughout the education and allows children to learn about all types of relationships and families.
Healthy vs Toxic relationships traits
This should be covered in a way in which it can be applicable to all types of relationships which the students may be involved in. This includes family, friendships, romantic relationships and sexual relationships. The concepts of compassion, respect, kindness, open communication and love should be encouraged. The idea of emotional, mental, sexual and physical abuse should be taught in an age appropriate and educational way, so that they are aware of situations which may occur in their life times.
Sexual Assaults and what classes as it
This is obviously a very sensitive subject and this topic should be approached with care and respect. The children should be aware of what classes as sexual assault/harassment so that they know where boundaries are and whether a situation they have been in was sexual assault. Intertwined in this should be a lot of facts and legislation so the children start to learn the law and their rights within the law of sexual assaults.
Consent should be taught in all aspects of life, whether that be in conversations, friendships, physical touch and sexual relationships. The foundations of this topic will be boundaries and ways in which they can be communicated, it is very important to teach children how to effectively communicate in all areas of sex and education so this is where that will be emphasised the most.
Types of sex
With the teaching of different types of relationships, further along the line there should be the teaching of types of sex which coincide with it. All types of sex such as oral, penetrative, anal, ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ should be factually and biologically taught to the children so they are aware of what types of sex there can be. This should be a much more biology based topic instead of sociology based topic.
All types of contraception
Contraception in this day and age is mainly left as the girls responsibility, this could be due to sexism and misogyny within society. Whatever the reason I believe that this should be withdrawn from the classroom mentality, so all types of contraception should be taught to all of the children. It should be taught with facts and also with the pros and cons of each one. For this the teachers could ask the students to create PowerPoint presentations as a whole class to teach the pros and cons of each contraception.
Alongside this the children should be educated on their sexual health including sexually transmitted infections, conditions such as vaginismus and anything else to do with sexual health or your sex organs.
Sex/sexual health Myth busting
This is one of the most important parts of the manifesto I have created as it is something I wish we had during sex and relationships education. I think that the children should be able to submit questions and myths they have heard about sex and sexual health. This allows the children to ask questions and ask about what they have heard without shame so that they can educate and re-educate themselves.
Social media/ media’s representation of sex
The last topic within my manifesto should be the media and social media’s representation of sex, now this is something which is so prevalent in our culture and society at the moment and I feel like it needs to be covered. Social media and the media in general has a very particular view or ideal of sex, and realistically it isn’t what is the most true. I feel like the children should learn the fact that sex within the media isn’t sex gospel because some children may not get any sex education or told about sex at home and so without this curriculum the only thing that child might learn about sex is from the media. I want the children to learn about how sex in films/TV isn’t always how it goes, talk about misogyny in regards of how women are seen as sex objects and also about the talk around sex especially on social media. When talking about social media I think peer pressure, nudes and the way sex is talked about online.
That my friends is my manifesto for the 2020 curriculum of sex and relationships education, this was so so fun and nice to talk about sex and also education which is such a passion of mine. This post was also massively inspired by Hannah Witton who talked about creating a video like this post and is a sex educator so please go and check her channel out! What do you guys think about this addition to the primary and secondary school curriculum? What would you include or not include in your manifesto?? Let me know down below!
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