Deborah Jack, chief executive, NAT (National AIDS Trust) response to the publishing of supplementary advice for schools on SRE for the 21st Century by the Sex Education Forum, Brook and the PSHE Association: “NAT welcomes this important piece of guidance for schools, which is an crucial step towards ensuring that young people receive a comprehensive education around the issues of consent, pornography and healthy relationships.
“Significantly, the guidance includes an explicit statement on the need to make teaching on these issues inclusive of same-sex relationships. An explicit statement on the need to make SRE relevant to young LGBT people of this kind is unprecedented and is an important step in the right direction. This is in light of mounting evidence showing that SRE in schools is failing young LGBT people.
“It is vital that schools understand why all young people, regardless of sexual preference, have a right to a sex education which meets their needs. NAT hopes that this guidance will help schools and teachers to recognise this and ensure that teaching on healthy relationships, sexual consent, and pornography is taught in a way that LGBT people find relevant and useful.
“In addition, it remains as important as ever to teach the facts about sexually transmitted infections, and to support young people of all sexualities to maintain their sexual health.
“Whilst it is important that young people are taught about the challenges and risks involved in relationships and sex, but we must not forget that we may risk alienating young people if we do not also emphasise the positive and pleasurable aspects of sex and relationships within these debates, which all too often remain overly focused on danger and risk.”