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That is one of the findings of a major government review of RSE. It sought the views of pupils, teachers, parents and relevant groups on how topics like sexual consent and relationships should be taught.
It has been a part of the curriculum sincebut the NCCA said that "life in Ireland has changed greatly" since then. The review looked at topics including sexual consent and what it means, along with developments in relation to contraception, sexual expression and relationships.S for Sex - Social Awareness Short Film
It also looked at safe use of the internet, social media and the effect that these have on relationships and self-esteem, as well as LGBTQ issues. Many of the school pupils consulted by the review team said there was no "consistent or comprehensive approach" to how RSE was taught.
Pupils told the review team that they wanted to be taught more about issues like sexual orientation, consent and healthy relationships.
Teenagers also said they were much more likely to look to friends or the internet for guidance on sex and relationships than teachers or parents. The NCCA found that there was a range of opinions among parents about RSE, with some opposed to it being taught at school at all or taught to younger children.
Others, though, wanted their children to have in-depth and age-appropriate lessons throughout their school career. Many parents wanted their children to be taught about consent, sexual orientation and contraception at school. However, an online survey carried out by the review's authors found that post-primary parents considered knowledge of how to avoid sexually transmitted infections the most important topic their children could learn about. Many parents also felt their school should consult them about RSE teaching.
Principals expressed the hope that the NCCA review would lead to clearer RSE guidance to schools and that it would lead to relationship and life skills being given more attention in schools.
The review made a of recommendations including the development of up-to-date teaching resources and more specialised training for teachers. However, Mr McHugh said that there would be further public consultation before final changes to the RSE curriculum were made.
Irish schools to teach sexual consent. Image source, Getty Images. Related Topics. Republic of Ireland Schools Sex education.
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Talking about sex and sexual behaviour of young people in Ireland