Monday 26 August 2019

Government accused of delaying review of sex education in schools

Fianna Fáil’s education spokesman Thomas Byrne. Photo: Tom Burke
Fianna Fáil’s education spokesman Thomas Byrne. Photo: Tom Burke
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

The Government has been accused of delaying the reform of sexual and relationships education as thousands of people took part in the Pride march at the weekend.

Fianna Fáil's spokesman on education Thomas Byrne said: "It's deeply disappointing this long-awaited review is once again delayed.

"This weekend we celebrated Pride. It's a particularly timely reminder of the need to educate on LGBTQ+ rights.

"Work is needed to address shortfalls in areas around consent, access to education for LGBTQ+ young people and the overall quality and suitability of current Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) and Social Personal and Health Education Curriculum (SPHE)."

A Department of Education spokesman labelled the comments "baseless criticism" at a time when "extensive consultation" was taking place.

"The review has not been delayed," added the spokesman.

Mr Byrne first put a parliamentary question forward on the issue in November 2018 and Education Minister Joe McHugh responded by saying he expected to receive a report from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in the second quarter of 2019.

However, when Mr Byrne asked about progress on this last week, Mr McHugh responded that the "NCCA council is due to consider a draft of the report".

The department spokesman added: "It's very appropriate time is being taken to carry out a major review of how we educate our young people about relationships and sexuality."

Irish Independent

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