Mixed message on sex ed in new National Curriculum

Mixed messages about sex education in the new National Curriculum

In response to the new National Curriculum published 11 September 2013 by the Department for Education, Jane Lees, Chair of the Sex Education Forum, said:

“The Sex Education Forum is disappointed that the new National Curriculum presents a confusing picture about sex education that will hinder teaching about this vital subject. While puberty is clearly included in science, teachers are discouraged from explaining ‘how reproduction occurs’ and about hormones.

“Omitting sexual health from the curriculum fails to prepare children properly for adult life. The government has missed a perfect opportunity to link up their education policy with their stated commitment to improving the nation’s sexual health, just days after the Prime Minister talked about the need to modernise sex and relationships education to make sure it is relevant to the lives of children today. We urge both primary and secondary schools to consult pupils about their sex and relationships education (SRE) to make sure that what they provide responds to their needs.

“We are committed to helping schools provide the best education about growing up, sex and sexual health that they can, both through science and the broader subject of SRE. Yet the failure to include naming of genitalia in the Curriculum as part of basic ‘body science’ is a hindrance to say the least.”

“Our members and a raft of Chief Executives, medics, and child protection and parenting experts have backed our campaign for better sex education in science over the past year. The consensus is clear: the public, parents, pupils and teachers are overwhelmingly supportive of sex education. Every child has a right to learn about their body and their health.”

Ofsted recently found that many schools fail to teach about puberty adequately, so the Sex Education Forum, based at leading children’s charity the National Children’s Bureau, is currently calling on primary teachers with a science specialism to take part in a pilot project ‘Prepared for Puberty’ to improve puberty education in all primary schools.




For more information please contact the National Children's Bureau's media office on 0207 843 6045 / 47 or email media@ncb.org.uk. For urgent enquiries out of office hours call 07721 097 033.


Notes to editors 

The Sex Education Forum

The Sex Education Forum is the national authority on sex and relationships education (SRE). We believe that good quality SRE is an entitlement for all children and young people and we are working with our member organisations - including religious, children's, parents and governor, health and education organisations - to achieve this. For further information visit www.sexeducationforum.org.uk

About the National Children's Bureau

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) is a leading charity that for 50 years has been improving the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. We work with children and for children, to influence government policy, be a strong voice for young people and practitioners, and provide creative solutions on a range of social issues. For more information visit www.ncb.org.uk