Egan welcomes updated relationship and sexuality education curriculum

Alliance MLA Connie Egan has welcomed the Secretary of State confirming he will update the curriculum on relationship and sexuality education (RSE) in Northern Ireland.

Education Connie Egan

Chris Heaton-Harris has laid regulations in Parliament to implement recommendations by the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for ‘age-appropriate, comprehensive and scientifically accurate education’ for adolescents, around issues relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“This is a welcome move and not before time, given the Secretary of State had a legal duty to ensure RSE was compliant with CEDAW recommendations,” said North Down MLA Ms Egan.

“It is especially welcome given the recent Education and Training Inspectorate report, which showed almost half of schools in Northern Ireland teach little or nothing about sexual consent, LGBTQ+ issues, sexual orientation or gender identity.

“I met with the Northern Ireland Office recently to urge them to take action on this important issue. While it’s disappointing the Executive and Assembly are not sitting and therefore we were unable to deal with it locally, it is vital we are now finally going to have standardised, inclusive and evidence-based RSE on curriculums for schools here.”