Six purposes of dating

The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) publishes guidance on the whole curriculum, including PSHE programmes of study and end of key stage statements to help teachers assess progress.(4) In 2000, the Department for Education and Employment (now the Department for Education) published guidance on the delivery of SRE through the PSHE framework.

The guidance aims to help schools to plan SRE policy and practice and includes teaching strategies, working with parents, and confidentiality.

5 Department for Education and Employment, Sex and Relationship Education Guidance, Circular 0116/2000 (London: Department for Education and Employment, 2000).

6 National Assembly for Wales, Personal and Social Education (PSE) and Work-Related Education (WRE) in the Basic Curriculum, Circular 13/03 (Cardiff: National Assembly for Wales, 2003).

In one UK survey(34) of over 20,000 young people aged under 18: 1 Sex Education Forum, Understanding Sex and Relationships Education (London: National Children’s Bureau, 2010).

2 Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, The Secondary Curriculum, accessed 18 November 2010.

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It should equip children and young people with the information, skills and values to have safe, fulfilling and enjoyable relationships and to take responsibility for their sexual health and well-being.(1) Sex and relationships education factsheet (PDF) You can download, but not print, our factsheet PDFs. The aspects of SRE that are not included in the science curriculum are delivered through personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.Personal and social education (PSE) became a compulsory part of the basic curriculum in both primary and secondary schools in September 2003.(6) Schools are expected to base their provision of SRE and PSE on guidance produced by the Welsh Assembly Government.From autumn 2008 all schools, colleges and other learning providers in Wales have been basing their PSE provision for 7–19 year olds on a new framework published by the Welsh Assembly Government.(7) The five themes of the framework are: Learning outcomes are set out for each theme at each key stage.Health and wellbeing is one of eight curriculum areas of Curriculum for Excellence(9), and includes relationships, sexual health and parenthood.In 2001, the Scottish Executive published a circular on sex education in Scottish schools which encouraged all schools to provide sex education within a comprehensive programme of personal, social and health education and religious and moral education.(10) Relevant national advice and guidelines on sex education for all stages of schooling was summarised by the Scottish Executive in 2001.(11)This requires that sex education should present facts in an objective, balanced and sensitive manner within a framework of social values, but programmes will vary between local authorities and schools.If a teacher learns that a pupil under the age of consent is sexually active they should encourage the young person to talk with a parent or carer, ensure that any child protection issue is addressed, and provide adequate information about confidential sexual health advice and treatment services.This information should be freely available to all pupils.7 Welsh Assembly Government, Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Personal and Social Education Framework for 7 to 19 Year Olds in Wales (Cardiff: Welsh Assembly, 2008).8 Welsh Assembly Government, Sex and Relationships Education in Schools, Circular 019/2010 (Welsh Assembly Government, 2010).In one-to-one clinical situations, health professionals and other outside visitors are bound by their professional codes of practice.Reviews of international research show that school-based SRE, particularly when linked to contraceptive services, does not increase sexual activity, but can have a positive impact on young people's knowledge and attitudes, delay sexual activity and/or reduce pregnancy rates by the use of contraception and safer sex.(24,25) In England, a review of the Teenage pregnancy strategy identified strong delivery of SRE and PSHE by schools as a key feature of high performing local authorities where teenage pregnancy rates had gone down.(26) There is no evidence that abstinence-only education programmes delay the initiation of sex, increase a return to abstinence or decrease the numbers of sexual partners.(25,27) Many organisations support the call for PSHE to become a statutory subject.(28,29) Surveys show that the majority of the general public,(30,31) parents,(32, 33) young people,(34,35,36) and education professionals(37) agree with this, and think that SRE should cover emotional and relationship issues as well as biological aspects.

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