Stockport Lib Dem Group: Age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education motion

The motion below was passed with all party support. If you have further good practice examples or motions you have passed to full council please keep them coming to rob.banks@local.gov.uk

 

This Council Meeting welcomes the recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Education that, through amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill, the government intends to make it a requirement that all secondary schools in England teach relationships and sex education (RSE), that all primary schools in England teach relationships education and, through regulations the government will make as allowed by the amendments, require personal, health, social and economic education (PHSE) to be taught in all schools in England, including in Academies, all with effect from September 2019.

This Council Meeting notes the good work already underway in schools across Stockport, as reported to a recent meeting of the Education Monitoring Panel, and welcomes cross-party support for the further work officers have proposed, making Stockport well-placed to adopt the RSE/PSHE regime that the government looks likely to introduce.

This Council Meeting further notes a recent report by researchers at Middlesex University on behalf of the Children’s Commissioner and the NSPCC that highlighted the widespread accessibility of online pornography, which often have degrading and violent depictions of sex, and also highlighted the need for better SRE in the classroom and online, giving children spaces to discuss and learn about safe relationships, consent and sex.

This Council Meeting believes that PHSE and age-appropriate RSE

  • are vital to help safeguard children and prepare them for their adult lives, particularly as they grow up in this digital age;
  • contribute to personal development by helping young people to build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience;
  • provide pupils with life skills and skills for life, to support them in managing risk, making informed choices and understanding what influences their decisions;
  • enable them to be responsible citizens and achieve and lead a happy, fulfilled life; and
  • help build resilience and protect young people from harm.

This Council Meeting further believes

  • that all schools, including faith schools, private schools, free schools and academies, should deliver age-appropriate, LGBT-inclusive, comprehensive RSE (or Relationships Education, in primary schools);
  • that Stockport children deserve to be taught this by professional, specialist teachers;
  • that all school staff should be appropriately trained to handle any questions which may arise after such sessions have been delivered; and
  • that all schools should make space in the timetable for PHSE and RSE and should encourage a culture of openness and tolerance.

This Council Meeting resolves to ask the Chief Executive:

  • to write to the Secretary of State for Education, outlining the content of this motion and calling upon her to ensure all schools are appropriately supported to deliver RSE as outlined above and support those schools who are able to introduce the new RSE during 2018/19; and
  • to notify all schools operating within Stockport of this council’s support for PHSE and age-appropriate, LGBT-inclusive, comprehensive RSE and encourage them to embrace the forthcoming changes.

Proposed: Cllr Lisa Smart

Seconded: Cllr Laura Booth

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