Government publish new guidance on teaching Relationships and Sex Education
Stonewall welcome explicit mention of LGBT people at both primary and secondary level
It’s vital the guidance is supported by sufficient investment in training and resources for schools
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: ‘Today’s new guidance on teaching Relationships and Sex Education marks a real, positive step forward for LGBT inclusion in England’s schools.
‘Stonewall was founded 30 years ago in response to Section 28 – a crushing piece of legislation that banned local authorities from ‘promoting homosexuality’. Teachers were effectively stopped from talking about same-sex relationships and properly supporting pupils who may have been questioning their sexuality. This was a dark era for LGBT people and Section 28’s damaging impact still lives on in schools across Britain. Stonewall’s 2017 research shows two in five LGBT students are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school, while nearly half are bullied because of who they are.
‘That’s why we’re so pleased this new guidance makes explicit mention of LGBT people at both primary and secondary level. By teaching about LGBT families in primary Relationships Education and building on this work in secondary Relationships and Sex Education, schools are helping prepare young people for life in 21st century Britain. Teaching about the diversity that exists in the world means children from all families feel included and helps every child and young person understand that LGBT people are part of normal, everyday life.
‘Through our work with hundreds of schools across the country, we’ve seen first-hand how primary and secondary schools are already delivering LGBT-inclusive teaching and the positive impact that’s having on young people. To bring about further change in the way LGBT families, people and relationships are taught, it’s now vital this guidance is supported by sufficient investment in training and resources for schools, so teachers have the confidence and knowledge they need to build a more inclusive school environment.
‘While this guidance marks a real step forward, we know there’s still more work to be done. In the coming years, we look forward to working with our network of primary and secondary schools to build on this good practice, and we hope to see LGBT inclusion strengthened even further when the guidance is next updated in 2022.’