Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (259)

Mattie McGrath


259. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to support measures to remove school ethos as a so-called barrier to the teaching of the RSE and SPHE curriculum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5634/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is carrying out a review of Relationships and Sexual Education (RSE)) in schools at the request of my Department. The work covers both the content of RSE curriculum and support materials, as well as the delivery of the curriculum to students.

The review is considering a number of areas, including 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; and LGBTQ+ matters.

The NCCA in undertaking its review will examine how the RSE curriculum is delivered in different school types. This will likely involve consideration of a range of RSE policies and how they impact on the manner in which the RSE curriculum is delivered in different schools.

The NCCA has received submissions from key individuals and organisations who have responsibility for or who are working in this area. The NCCA has also held over 30 bi-lateral meetings with interested groups and individuals as part of its review . Work is now commencing with approximately 20 primary and post-primary schools to gauge opinions and experiences of Relationships and Sexual Education and this aspect of the review will help to inform recommendations in relation to curriculum gaps, implementation barriers and enablers and support needs. I expect to receive the report from the NCCA before the summer.