The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed a report published today that calls for a complete overhaul of sex and relationships education in Wales.
The Sex and Relationships Education Expert Panel was established in March 2017 by Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, to help inform the development of high quality SRE in the new curriculum in Wales.
Findings concluded that SRE in Wales has too strong a focus on biology, with not enough attention given to rights, gender equality, emotions and relationships. There is a lack of focus on minority gender and sexual identities and relationships, and lack of awareness and education on violence against girls and women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The panel have recommended that SRE be made statutory as part of education reforms. The report sets out how this guidance should be underpinned by core principles and themes that ensure a needs-led, inclusive and holistic, rights and equity-based SRE for all.
The panel have also recommended a name change to Sexuality and Relationships Education, drawing on the World Health Organisation’s definition of ‘sexuality’, with an emphasis on rights, health, and equality.
Welsh Liberal Democrat equalities campaigner Cadan ap Tomos said:
“I know from my own experience, and from listening to young people right across Wales, that the provision of sex and relationships education isn’t fit for the 21st Century.
“This report is an excellent blueprint on the changes we desperately need to make on how SRE is delivered in our schools, and Kirsty Williams deserves a lot of credit for recognising more needs to be done and for establishing this expert panel.
“The Welsh Government needs to accept the recommendations in this report so that all young people are armed with the knowledge they need to practice safe sex and take part in healthy, respectful relationships.”