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Aids

Volume 116: debated on Tuesday 12 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is yet in a position to announce proposals for a curricular project on AIDS.

We believe teaching designed to avoid the spread of AIDS should be included in the curriculum of every pupil in a way appropriate to the age-groups concerned. To be effective such teaching should be part of a carefully planned programme of health and sex education.The most urgent needs are therefore for guidelines within which schools can plan a programme of health and sex education and then for curricular materials on AIDS and related issues which can be used by teachers, with appropriate in-service training, in the contexts such a programme will provide.The Scottish Home and Health Department has now agreed to collaborate with Strathclyde regional council on a curricular project designed to meet these needs. The project is modelled on the successful partnership which produced the "Drugwise 12–14" package. It will begin as soon as possible and run to June 1988. A contribution of £50,000 will be made by the Department to the salary costs of the project team, whose remit will be as follows: i. to devise, drawing from existing good practice and consulting as appropriate, a general health and social education framework covering all stages of education from pre 5 to 16. The framework should illustrate the sequencing and timing of topics, the approach to be taken to ensure that each stage builds on pupils' previous experience and knowledge, and the need to promote positive attitudes. The framework should show how sensitive issues such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, sexual behaviour and diseases such as AIDS can be dealt with in context. It should take into account the recommendations of the joint Consultative Committee on the Curriculum/Scottish Health Education Group Working party which is considering the provision of health education, including sex education, for the 10–14 age group; ii

  • (a) to review existing materials relevant to teaching about AIDS, and to draft new materials as necessary; to prepare a programme of piloting and evaluation of such materials and to formulate guidance on the in-service training requirements of teachers expected to work with them. The preparation of materials should take into account the views of interested parties, including the Consultative Committee on the Curriculum, the Scottish Home and Health Department, the Scottish Health Education Group, teaching staff, parents, churches, Health Boards and other education authorities. In preparing materials, the team should also take into account the possibility that parents may prefer to tackle certain of these issues directly with their children.
  • (b) to devise finally detailed guidance on in-service training and a package of curricular materials for use in the classroom on AIDS and associated issues. The package should be capable of dissemination at national level for use in school health and social education programmes.
  • The Department will appoint a broadly based consultative group to ensure that the direction of the project reflects a national consensus of opinion. As with Drugwise the materials which result from the project will be made available throughout Scotland.