Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (258)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

258. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if assurances will be provided to parents that it will not be mandatory for children to be present in class when proposed changes to the content of the RSE and SPHE come into effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5633/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is carrying out a review of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in schools at the request of my Department. The review covers both the content of RSE curriculum and support materials, as well as the delivery of the curriculum to students. I expect to receive the report including recommendations from the NCCA this summer.

The Deputy may be aware that Section 30(2)(e) of the Education Act 1998 states that the Minister ‘shall not require any student to attend instruction in any subject which is contrary to the conscience of the parent of the student or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student’. However, the provision of adequate and up to date RSE to young people in schools is vitally important. The RSE provided in schools, coupled with education provided at home by parents, is associated with the best outcomes for students.