Sex and relationship education: views from teachers, parents and governors

Case Studies & Research
20 p.

Almost 1,500 school leaders, school governors and parents of school-aged children were asked for their views on the current provision of SRE and how the topic should be delivered in future. Key findings. There was a very high level of agreement between parents, school leaders and governors about SRE provision. More than nine out of 10 parents, and approximately eight out of 10 school leaders and governors agreed that it was 'very important' for children to receive information on practising safer sex and always using contraception. A similar number felt that the issues of understanding how relationships are formed and developed and the need to get to know the other person before sex were very important. 80% of school leaders did not feel trained and confident to talk about SRE. Current teaching materials are failing teachers - only 9% of school leaders rated them as very useful. More than a quarter of school leaders and a fifth of governors felt that current SRE was not preparing children well for the future. 84% of parents felt that SRE should be delivered both in the school and in the home. Parents, school leaders and governors agreed that SRE lessons could begin as early as Key Stage 1, depending on content. Conclusions: it is apparent from the research that parents, school leaders and governors are all strongly in favour of the provision of SRE in the classroom and at home. More training is needed for teachers to be able to properly deliver SRE lessons. Parents believe they have a key role to play, but need more information and resources to do this adequately. A range of resources need to be made available to both teachers and parents. As a result of these findings, the NCTPA, the NAHT and the NAGA are all calling for three specific changes to the way SRE is delivered: that all children and young people should be entitled to quality SRE in school; that teachers should be given appropriate training to deliver SRE effectively; that appropriate resources are made available to support the teaching of SRE.

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