There are those who welcome these recent developments. Jonathan Baggaley, chief executive of the PHSE Association said,
“This is a historic step and a clear statement of intent from government.Following years of campaigning we are delighted that Justine Greening has taken this vital step to respond to the clear call from parents, teachers and young people that education must prepare all children, in all schools, for the opportunities and challenges of modern life.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Russell Hobby, general secretary of the school leaders’ union NAHT.
“It is so important for young people to be taught about appropriate relationships, and the duties set out today bring that one step closer.”
Ms Greening’s announcement follows a widespread campaign by charities, MPs and local authorities, calling for (SRE) to be made a statutory for all schools.
So where does this leave us? The secondary component of sex education is fairly clear cut for me. STDs are on the rise amongst our teens. There has been a walk back in sexual health among the young since the 80s. The concerns of the digital world are complex and varied. They cannot be ignored. However, it is the primary element that gives me most pause for concern. This is not borne from some naïve belief that childhood should be innocent. Such a belief is not naïve and childhood should be so. Nevertheless, I recognise that the world has bad people in it who do bad things and yet I am not comfortable with the state taking on the burden of this reality. Within the classroom setting there is too much scope for things to go wrong. Such matters are too delicate and nuanced to be delivered wholesale to a group of thirty kids. If it’s not done right it has the potential to wreak havoc both internally and externally.
The burden should and must lie with the parent.