Clare Bailey MLA

Consent needs to be taught in all schools

Friday November 3 2017

 

The Green Party NI says it is vital that the principle of consent be taught in all schools in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment and assault in Westminster and other workplaces.

 

Consent needs to be taught in Northern Ireland’s schools as part of a programme of Personal and Social Health Education (PSHE) that should form an integral part of the curriculum, Green Party MLA Clare Bailey said.

 

Young people are receiving confusing messages about what constitutes healthy relationships with the rise of on-line pornography and the prevalence of  domestic and sexual violence in Northern Ireland.

 

We need to provide opportunities for young people to think about what consent means, because they’re going to face experiences in their lives which could involve sexual assault or even rape. They need to be  given the right information about sexuality, consent, risks and protection so that they can go on to make healthy relationship decisions and to know when something isn’t right,” the South Belfast MLA said.

 

Consent can be a confusing concept for young people so we need to raise awareness of when social interaction has tipped over into sexual harassment.

 

“We have been calling for some time for PSHE to be taught in all schools. Without this focus on healthy relationships, we are failing our children and failing future generations as they move into adulthood” she said.

 

An Education and Training Inspectorate report a year ago revealed that one in four primary and special schools in Northern Ireland that responded to an online survey had no policy on relationship and sexual education (RSE). It said RSE features in only 40% of the school development plans in schools that do have an RSE policy.

 

ENDS

Linda Stewart

028 9052 1141

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