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Pupils call for lessons on sex and relationships education



Almost 75% of 11- to 15-year-olds in England believe they would be safer if they had age-appropriate classes on sex and relationships education, according to new research.

The Barnardo’s survey of nearly 1,000 young people revealed that seven in 10 children think the government should ensure all pupils have school lessons on sex and relationships.

The results support calls by the charity for the government to introduce compulsory age-appropriate sex and relationships education through the Children and Social Work Bill. Barnardo’s wants MPs to put pressure on the government to make the change while the Bill is debated in the House of Commons.

More than 95% of children surveyed online said it was important for them to understand the dangers of being online so they can keep themselves safe. A similar number said they wanted to know the risks of sharing images of themselves with a stranger online.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “It's time to listen to children who are clearly telling us that they need help in understanding the digital dangers and the risks of sharing images of themselves with strangers. Online grooming is a very real danger facing all children and nearly half of the girls polled said they were worried about strangers contacting them online.

“Compulsory SRE lessons for all children must be introduced as soon as possible – it will help prevent children being groomed and sexually exploited. It's time for the government to make sure we give all children the knowledge that will help keep them safe. These children have spoken loud and clear and the government must not ignore them.”

ASDAN’s Sex and Relationships Short Course covers all aspects of SRE, including challenges on online relationships, pornography, photo and video sharing, cyber-bullying and the dangers of sexting. It is aimed at learners of all abilities, mainly aged 13-19. The Short Course is internally moderated and accredits 10 to 60 hours of activities.

Sample challenges are available to download as part of an ASDAN supplement titled Sex and relationships education in a digital world.

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