Hopes are high that statutory LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education could be back on the agenda – as Theresa May appoints her new Cabinet.
Earlier this year, the government dismissed a Parliamentary report calling for LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education to be made statutory in all schools, with rumours at the time that Downing Street had intervened to block Education Secretary Nicky Morgan from agreeing to any reform.
Cabinet insiders suggested at the time that there had been a rift in David Cameron’s top team on the issue, with voices favouring statutory SRE thought to include then-Home Secretary Theresa May and then-Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening.
Hopes are now high that as new Prime Minister Theresa May takes power this week and appoints a new Cabinet, the government could change stance on the issue.
Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We have been following the news of the cabinet appointments with interest, particularly around the Secretaries of State for Health and for Education.
“These roles are vital to tackling the HIV epidemic and ensuring all young people are educated about sexual health.
“We now welcome the appointment of Justine Greening, who has a strong personal connection with LGBT issues and knowledge of HIV from her time at Department for International Development. W
“e hope she will use these to great effect in her new role as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities in order to ensure all young people receive mandatory, quality and inclusive Sex and Relationships Education – whatever their sexuality and wherever they go to school.
“Young people, parents, educators and even the Education Select Committee want SRE to be put on the curriculum – it’s time this was made a reality.
“The priority for Jeremy Hunt as he continues in his role as Secretary of State for Health should be on addressing the increasing rates of HIV transmission and alarming inequalities in the nation’s sexual health. This must include making PrEP available on the NHS to those at highest risk of HIV.
“We look forward to engaging with both Jeremy and Justine as we work towards a world where people with HIV live healthy lives free from stigma, and where good sexual health is a right and reality for all.”