CREDIT: © tomwang Depositphotos

The government has announced plans to make sex education compulsory in all schools in England, however, they’ve failed to mention LGBT+ issues which critics say is letting LGBT+ children down across the country.

CREDIT: © tomwang Depositphotos

The UK’s Government has announced plans to ensure that sex and relationship education is made compulsory in all schools across England, however it neglected to say whether LGBT+ relationships would be covered by any classes.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said that children from the age of four would be taught about safe and healthy relationships.

David Geary, Head of Political Engagement Pride in London said that the absence of LGBT+ specifics was cementing stigma and bullying into school culture by not tackling those issues.

He said,

“Today’s announcement that age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) will become compulsory in every school, is a welcome step in the right direction. The first major shakeup in more than 15 years will empower teachers to promote positive discussions on such a critical area and ensure teenagers don’t learn poor habits or behaviours from online sources.

“Healthy sex and relationship education cannot be wholly effective until it helps every pupil in the classroom. In continuing to separate, single out and ignore the needs of LGBT+ pupils, the government is helping to cement stigma, self-doubt, confusion and bullying.

“Such an omission lets down pupils right across the country, who need effective and positive support to develop into the healthy, confident and safe LGBT+ adults they deserve to be. Parents too benefit from having such a support as they learn to be the best guardian they can be for their LGBT+ child”.

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The Government has not mandated how these lessons will be delivered and parents will still have the right to remove their children from the classes.

The number of sexually transmitted infections amongst the UK’s gay and bisexual teenagers and young adults has soared in recent years and Public Health England warned in 2016 that 36% of new infections in 2015 were found in those aged just 15 to 24, the highest increase in a single age group.

Politicians across the political spectrum have signed up to a pledge which calls for the inclusion of same-sex relationship education in all London schools to ensure the representation of different families and communities within SRE.