LETTER: Sex education not compulsory

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Readers of Sussex Express may be aware of a growing campaign for sex and relationships education (SRE) to be introduced as a mandatory part of the school curriculum.

Like me, they may indeed be surprised to learn that this vital part of a child’s education is not currently compulsory in all schools.

When children are – whether we like it or not – exposed to highly sexualised imagery, online pornography and the pressures of social media, it’s vital for them to learn about sex and relationships at school. Not simply the physical or biological side (we need more than the birds and bees talk…) but also the emotional and social aspects of what a healthy relationship looks like.

Evidence-based and delivered in a safe environment, SRE is vital to prepare children for later life and help prevent abusive relationships. We should be encouraged by research recently released by Plan International UK which showed that more than eight in ten people supported mandatory SRE across all main school types, including in our area.

I’ve recently written to the local MP to urge them to support this in Parliament, and would encourage others to do the same. This is no longer an issue we can shy away from.

Hugh Norris

Wilton Ave, Eastbourne