#teensexting | #sexting | School kids to be taught about sexting, online safety and relationships in compulsory sex education

School kids will be taught about relationships, staying safe on the internet and the dangers of ‘sexting’.

Pupils will also get lessons on mental health, anxiety and relationships, when three new sex and relationship subjects are added to the curriculum next year.

Primary school pupils will be taught ‘relationships education’, while ‘relationships and sex education’ will be added to the secondary curriculum.

Pupils of all ages will have lessons in ‘health education’, which will include topics on the link between mental and physical health, the importance of sleep and spotting anxiety in their peers.

It will be up to teachers to decide how often to hold the lessons.

Pupils will also be taught about mental health, anxiety and relationships, when three new subjects are added to the curriculum next year.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Growing up and adolescence are hard enough, but the internet and social media add new pressures that just weren’t there even one generation ago.

“So many things about the way people interact have changed, and this new world, seamless between online and offline, can be difficult to navigate.

“Almost 20 years on from the last time guidance on sex education was updated, there is a lot to catch up on.”

Mr Hinds said it was “appropriate” to make health education universal alongside relationships and sex education.

“It will help children learn how to look after themselves, physically and mentally, and the importance of getting away from the screen and the headphones,” he said.

“And it can help young people be resilient as they chart a course through an ever more complex world.”

From 2020, children aged four and above will be taught about ‘self-care’, such as getting enough sleep and spending time outdoors.

They will also get lessons in online safety, trolling, what to do if they come across something they find uncomfortable and talking to strangers.

According to the curriculum guidelines produced on Monday, secondary school pupils will be taught about female genital mutilation (FGM) – focusing on awareness, the availability of support networks, and reminding them that it is illegal.

A child using a laptop computer
A child using a laptop computer

Students aged 11 and older should also be taught about other forms of honour-based abuse, as well as grooming, forced marriage and domestic abuse as part of a strengthened curriculum, the Department for Education said.

Today, Parliament is set to debate a petition signed by more than 100,000 people , which asks for parents to be given the right to remove their children from relationship and sex education lessons (RSE).

It says: “We believe it is the parent’s fundamental right to teach their child RSE topics or to at least decide who teaches them and when and how they are taught. We want the right to opt our children out of RSE when it becomes mandatory in Sept 2020.”

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Mr Hinds denied four and five-year-olds will be taught about gay and transgender relationships.

Mr Hinds told ITV school children will be taught about ‘respectful’ relationships, and respect for people.

When asked if this included lessons about homosexual, bisexual and transgender relationships, Mr Hinds said: “We are saying that in primary school they should learn about respectful relationships.

“When you start to talk about different adult relationships, that has to be done in an appropriate way. It is not about saying this stuff all happens at the age of five.

“At a young age, what we are talking about is having respect for all kinds of people. You have to have respect for all the different families you come into contact with.

“Nobody is suggesting that there should be these difficult conversations with children at that age, but relationships in the broader sense, friendships, interactions and how you interact with other children and adults. That’s very important from a very young age.”

Under the plans, teachers at secondary school will have to take lessons on online safety topics, including the serious risks of sharing private photos, the impact of viewing explicit or harmful content – including how to report it and get support – as well as how the internet can promote an unhealthy view of sex and relationships.




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