“The Secretary of State introduced regulations regarding RSE on the Northern Ireland curriculum earlier this year. The Executive Formation Act 2019 placed a legal duty on him to act, it is welcome that he has done so after four years,” the North Down MLA has said.
“These new regulations provide age-appropriate, comprehensive and scientifically accurate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights, in line with independent Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women recommendations. This covers prevention of early pregnancy and reproductive choices for post-primary schools.
“These regulations also place a duty on the Department of Education to publish guidance on the content and delivery of relationship and sexuality education by 1 January 2024. This will include the circumstances in which parents can opt out of their children attending these lessons. It is important to make clear that these regulations as introduced, do not apply to primary schools, contrary to what some have suggested.
“A false information campaign has been purposely designed to distort evidence-based reforms and place undue stress on parents, guardians, teachers and principals. The content of the curriculum and how it will be delivered will be subject to a consultation from the Department of Education, which will launch later this year. All parents, guardians and other members of the school community are encouraged to input into the consultation process.”