An evidence-based RSE curriculum is what is best for our children and young people, says Egan

A standardised, inclusive and evidence-based relationship and sexuality education (RSE) curriculum in schools is the best way to prepare children and young people for healthy relationships, Alliance Education spokesperson Connie Egan MLA has said.

Education Connie Egan

It follows a report from the Education and Training Inspectorate which stated it was not good enough almost half of schools in Northern Ireland teach little or nothing about sexual consent, LGBTQ+ issues, sexual orientation or gender identity. Other issues such as consent, domestic abuse, gender, transgender issues, contraception, pregnancy, abortion and menstrual health were also absent.
“We need to ensure children and young people receive the RSE they need in order to form healthy relationships,” said North Down MLA Ms Egan.
“A standardised, inclusive and evidence-based RSE curriculum is the best way to do that. We should not shy away from emotive issues and only do our young people a disservice by not discussing these issues in a safe and supportive environment.
“Our teachers should have the support, training, and resources they require to feel confident in delivering RSE in schools, with it being open to inspection like any other subject area.
“It is deeply disappointing but unfortunately not surprising this report suggests LGBTQ+ issues are overlooked and what is taught focuses on heteronormative experiences.
“When the Executive is restored, I intend to bring a Private Member’s Bill to the Assembly to introduce standardised, inclusive, evidence-based RSE in schools. It is urgently needed.”