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Relationships and Sex Education

Volume 649: debated on Monday 12 November 2018

4. What funding he plans to allocate to schools to enable them to provide relationships education and relationships and sex education lessons. (907540)

We want all schools to deliver high-quality teaching and curriculums in this important area, as many schools already do. The public consultation on the content of relationships and sex education closed last week, and we will use those findings to develop the right support package to complement the content set out in the draft guidance.

The Government’s impact assessment of the roll-out of relationships and sex education suggests that there will be no need for funding support from the second year onwards—that the investment at the beginning will last for ever. This, of course, ignores changes in teachers and the need to change the curriculum in future years. Will Ministers commit today that when they do come up with the final policy, they will accept the need for annual support?

The kind of support we have in mind is support in terms of materials and training, rather than funding, but we will look very carefully at this once we have examined all the responses to the consultation, to which 40,000 individuals responded.

The Scottish Parliament has recently decided to embed in the school curriculum LGBT issues so that LGBT children can integrate well and, more importantly, that other children treat them well. What thought has my right hon. Friend given to doing the same in England?

We have certainly given this a great deal of thought in the context of relationships and sex education. We believe that all schools should ensure that young people, whatever their developing sexuality or identity, feel that relationships education and RSE is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs. The purpose of the new provisions includes ensuring that young people learn that there are different types of relationships in modern Britain. Schools should therefore ensure that RSE is inclusive and meets the needs of all young people.

As I am sure we are all aware from our experiences of this House, the issues that surround relationships and sex education at any age can be incredibly sensitive. My question is therefore about training. At this moment in time, how much training will the Government provide? Will the Minister ensure that every teacher who is going to teach this will be able to “get it”?

Of course, it is the responsibility of schools to provide the relevant training for their teachers in all curriculum subjects. We are looking at the response to the consultation—which, as I said, closed last week—to determine what support and resources schools will need to be able to deliver this far-reaching reform of the curriculum in our schools.