Thursday, 22 November 2018

Questions (84, 85)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

84. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the request for the NCCA to initiate a review of the sex education curriculum. [48755/18]

View answer

Thomas Byrne

Question:

85. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the NCCA has provided a timeline for a response with regard to his predecessor's request for a review of the sex education curriculum. [48756/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 84 and 85 together.

In April 2018, my predecessor announced a review of Relationships and Sexual Education (RSE) in schools. This review is currently underway and covers both the content of RSE curriculum and support materials, as well as the delivery of the curriculum to students.

Included in the areas for particular consideration during the review are:

- Consent, what it means and its importance

- Developments in contraception

- Healthy, positive sexual expression and relationships

- Safe use of the internet

- Social media and its effects on relationships and self-esteem

- LGBTQ+ matters.

Given the scope of the request, the review will comprise of three inter-related dimensions:

1. Desk-top review of recently published research/studies in this area.

2. Consultations with key individuals and organisations who have responsibility for or who are working in this area.

3. Working directly with schools to examine the experience of RSE in schools and in classrooms.

A review of research was commissioned in June 2018 and a report was published this week. Studies have emerged over the last months that will also support the development of discussions and key questions in the review.

A number of consultative events are being planned. The first will be held on 27 November at Collins Barracks, Dublin and will involve approximately 60 groups and organisation who have expressed an interest in or who are known to have an interest in contributing to the review.

Approximately 20 primary and post primary schools, representing a range of school types and experiences will be directly involved. The outcome from this strand of the review will inform recommendations in relation to curriculum gaps, implementation barriers and enablers, and support needs. Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for any school to be involved, should they wish, to facilitate workshops locally.

The timelines for the three dimensions of the review are likely to intersect somewhat but will also contribute and add to the progression of the review. I expect to receive a report from the NCCA in Q2 2019.