Major Changes Announced to How Sex Ed is Taught in Wales
The Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has announced there will be major changes to how Sex Education is taught in schools in Wales and that starts with the re-naming of this area of study to Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE)
The current Sex and Relationship Education is a statutory part of the basic curriculum in Wales but it is essentially down to individual schools to decide their approach to the subject and sometimes it doesn’t stretch beyond the biological aspects of human relationships.
The new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) will be a statutory from the age of 5 to 16 and will be part of Wales’ new curriculum which will be in place from 2022, but learners will not be taught about topics for which they are not developmentally ready.
This new approach will provide a broader area of study and places an emphasis on forming and maintaining healthy, happy and fulfilling relationships. It is also designed to give learners a much broader understanding of sexuality that is fully inclusive of LGBTQI+ and includes wider issues such as consent, domestic abuse and respecting diversity.
The plan in for the Foundation Phase in Wales (for children aged 3-7) to continue with the same approach, which ensures that children learn about relationships with friends and family and how to stay safe.
To achieve these changes the right training and support for teachers will be provided, the Education Secretary also announced that there would be changes to SRE training in both initial teacher education and within the existing workforce. Financially, £200,000 will be made available to education consortia so they can begin the process of identifying professional learning needs in this area, with a further £50,000 to be awarded to Welsh Women’s Aid to develop resources and training for schools.
The Education Secretary said Kirsty Williams: “The days of traditional sex education are long gone; the world has moved on and our curriculum must move with it.
Sex should never be taught in isolation for the simple reason that it is about so much more than just sex; it’s also about relationships, rights and respect and that must go hand in hand with a much broader understanding of sexuality. Anything less does a disservice to our learners and teachers.”
It has been confirmed that there will be no change for religious schools as ministers said they could continue to deliver RSE classes consistent with their ethos.