Education – comprehensive sex and relationship education programme in place in schools

CONSENT and healthy relationships form a key part of the school curriculum for local students.

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Recent events that have seen women all over the world speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. It has also led people to call on education settings to ‘do their bit’ in educating young people about such issues.

A spokesperson for Education said teaching and learning about consent and healthy relationships is covered in the comprehensive Personal, Social and Health Education programme in all schools in the Bailiwick.

‘Teaching students about consent is a key aspect of safeguarding, which helps us to help keep our children and young people safe,’ they said.

In Guernsey, there is a dedicated team of sex and relationships educators, called SHARE, who go into schools across the Bailiwick to teach SRE [sex and relationship education] from Year 5 [aged 10] up to those in post-16 education.

This is done through a ‘spiral programme’, meaning the topic stays relatively light with younger students and is extended year on year through the age groups.

‘For example, in Year 5 pupils learn about seeking and giving consent in different situations and in Secondary and post-16 they learn about sexual consent, the law around consent, the importance of respecting people’s right to give, not give and withdraw their consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, coercion, rape domestic abuse etc,’ the spokesperson said.

As well as the input students receive from SHARE, Primary and Secondary teachers also deliver their own units of work on relationships as part of their wider PSHE programmes.

The Youth Commission also delivers a comprehensive suite of lessons on domestic abuse, funded by the States’ Domestic Abuse Strategy, to Secondary-aged students which intend to reinforce the messages around healthy and unhealthy relationships, consent and where to go for help and advice.

‘In summary, there is a comprehensive programme in place in schools to teach about the importance of consent and health relationships,’ Education said.

‘Through our PSHE programme, we aim to provide all our children and young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to build healthy relationships, keep themselves safe and empower them in their daily lives.’

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