Current Affairs

Equality boss calls for compulsory sex and relationship education

January 18, 2017
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PinkNews Exclusive
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Chair David Isaac has called for compulsory sex and relationship education.

In an interview with PinkNews, Mr Isaac said the reluctance to introduce the measure is a “leadership issue” and the rules should be changed.

“I do think it should be compulsory”, he said.

Asked why the change isn’t yet law, Mr Isaac commented: “For me it’s a leadership issue, and I think the government might be concerned that it might be interpreted negatively.”

The EHRC has backed calls for making sex ed compulsory in schools.

“I think it’s absolutely fundamental in the way that gender issues are understood by children.

“I’ve done a lot of stuff in relation to gender since I’ve been in the chair role and it’s fundamental in the way we see women in society that PSHE is compulsory part of the curriculum and for LGBT issues it is exactly the same.

“We know there are direct links between that and bullying – whether its LGBT bullying or whether its intimidation of women or disabled people.”

Mr Isaac has called for strong action on the issue from government leaders.

“For me this is hygiene and actually the curriculum should deal with sex education and gender and equality issues as a part of all those subjects that are a part of PSHE.”

“For me it’s about how it’s taught and the way in which these issues are presented sensitively.

“If there is clash between religion and LGBT rights but not just that, we’ll deal with that because our young people need to have a proper understanding of these issues to be fully developed, participating citizens of our country and if they’re not taught these things then how will we ever create an inclusive society.”

The comments come as former Tory cabinet minister Maria Miller launches a fresh push to make sex and relationship education mandatory in all schools.

Mrs Miller said in a statement to PinkNews: “Children are clear they want SRE to be compulsory and are calling for the Government to help make that happen.”

But the government has blocked LGBT-inclusive sex education when it was proposed by Labour in an amendment.

Education Secretary Justine Greening has repeatedly suggested she is open to reform on sex and relationship education, hinting last summer that the issue was near the top of her “in tray”.

More: Britain, daivd isaac, EHRC, Equality, exclusive, PM, Politics, Theresa May, UK

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