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Outdated RSE curriculum is putting children at risk, survey shows
Only 10 per cent of parents in the UK are very confident that their children are getting the best RSE at school.
According to research carried out by Big Life Project, 38 per cent of the students surveyed had RSE lessons on topics such as sexting, online relationships, revenge porn and dating apps, leaving more than half of students without this vital awareness.
Despite the increasing online risks of sexting and cyber bulling, the RSE curriculum guidance for teachers has not been updated for almost 20 years.
The majority of parents surveyed said they hadn’t considered RSE as part of their child’s education, citing that the core academic subjects are more of a focus for them.
The research brings into question who carries responsibility for this increasingly important part of a child’s safety and education.
Sixty-three per cent of surveyed teachers felt too overwhelmed with their current workload in relation to the extra coursework they have to teach for RSE and other life skills and 67 per cent stated that they don’t receive enough support from the Department for Education to teach appropriate RSE.
It also revealed that 61 per cent of teachers felt that parents needed to be more involved in this part of their children’s education and 21 per cent of teachers felt that parents do not take enough responsibility for the RSE aspect of their child’s development.
Even students (66 per cent of those surveyed) would find more focussed lessons on relationships and sex useful. However most stated that they were more comfortable taking advice from their peers with only 21 per cent trusting their mother and five per cent trusting their father, for this advice.
Sheila Harji, CEO of Big Life Project said: “In the current cyber environment it is vital that children receive an updated, appropriate level of education. Schools and parents must work closer together to ensure no child falls through the gap. With more unreliable sources of information available online, there has to be an open dialogue between students, teachers and parents to ensure they are ready to face the current challenges.”