Sunday 29 August 2010

Sex Education - More or Less?

Stewart Jackson, Member of Parliament for Peterborough caused a bit of fuss this week by challenging the notion that more sex education is always a good thing.

It is quite an interesting challenge and is not as controversial as it sounds.   More and more sex education has not provided the huge benefits that people have suggested.  But just looking at the increase in STIs is not the only measure.  There is a slow decrease in the number of teenage pregnancies (an area where Cambridgeshire has a good record) which suggests that something is working.

However, I do not believe the argument is about more or less, it is about better.  I do not believe the overall standard of sex education (and indeed delivery of the rest of the PSHE curriculum) is good enough.  There are some outstanding teachers who deliver first class sex education, but there are others who may be great teachers in their own subjects, but who, for whatever reason, do not deliver PSHE well enough.  Schools need to be realistic about this, so does the education system as a whole.

I want to finish though by saying that Stewart Jackson is certainly not the only person who holds the view he does and those that criticise him maybe ought to examine their own navels first and start to think about why that is the case.  I have a great deal of respect for Stewart and he has every right to stand up and say what he did.

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