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Bromley MP backs mandatory LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education in secondary schools

PUBLISHED: 09:52 21 February 2017

Bob Neill MP

Bob Neill MP

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Bob Neill, and the Women's Equality Party have shown support for the proposed changes to the Children and Social Work Bill amendment

Bromley MP Bob Neill has backed action to introduce compulsory LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education in secondary schools.

The changes to sex and relationships education are proposed in an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill.

Pupils could be taught “how to recognise and handle bullying and peer pressure, such as sexting, the meaning of consent, signs of an exploitative relationship, including physical, mental and sexual harassment, conflict management and safety online, such as exposure to pornography”.

Showing support for the proposed changes, Mr Neill said: “The current guidance has not been updated for over 17 years, in which time the internet, mobile phones and social media have become a normal part of British childhood. The sex education our schools provide their pupils with must keep up to date with these changes, not only teaching the biology of sex, as the curriculum currently does, but also about relationships more generally – the dangers of being online, the risk of sexual exploitation and the importance of consent.

“These are sensible proposals, supported by robust evidence, and it is a step I believe is necessary to ensure our system remains fit for purpose in keeping young people safe, helping them build healthy, positive relationships.”

The changes have also been supported by Bromley Women’s Equality Party branch leader Laura Wightwick. She said: “Young people need to be educated about all kinds of relationships. They need to be informed and to know that whatever type of relationship they choose to form is okay. They don’t have to hide.

“It will be interesting to see if faith schools decide to get on side. But we’re really pleased Bob Neill has backed the changes. Any modern MP will go with public opinion.

“The schools in Bromley generally have a modernised attitude, and a healthy attitude to sex and relationships education, but it would be brilliant to have everyone on board.”

Ms Wightwick believes some lack of support comes from misconceptions about the LGBT community.

She added: “Some people feel teaching the young LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education will encourage them to fall into the LGBT bracket, but at the end of the day you are who you as a person. No amount of education is going to change who you really are.”

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