Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (435)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

435. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the work undertaken to date to update the sexual education curriculum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36193/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

In April 2018, a review of Relationships and Sexual Education (RSE) in schools was announced by Mr. Richard Bruton TD, the then Minister for Education and Skills.  The Minister asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) to undertake a review not just of the content of the curriculum but of how it is taught, and in particular how young people can get factual information about sexual behaviour, orientation, consent and contraception. 

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 is comprised of three inter-related dimensions:

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

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

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

A review of research was commissioned by the NCCA in June 2018 and a report on this was published in November 2018. 

A consultative event was held in November 2018 at Collins Barracks, Dublin and involved approximately 60 groups and organisation who have expressed an interest in or who are known to have an interest in contributing to the review.  A further round of public consultation is currently ongoing and due to run up to approximately October 2019, after which the NCCA Council will agree a final report to be sent to the Minister.

The NCCA’s draft review of its findings is currently open to consultation to ensure the findings and related draft advice is reflective of the needs of students, schools and parents. This can be found at:

https://www.ncca.ie/en/updates-and-events/consultations/review-of-relationships-and-sexuality-education-rse.