World AIDS Day 2013: Government resistance to sex and relationship education is putting young people at risk

LGBT Labour today marks World AIDS Day highlighting the Tory-led Governments continued resistance to sex and relationship education.  

Tom Burke, Co-Chair of LGBT Labour comments:

“Earlier this year, Michael Gove removed HIV from the national school curriculum. He has continually resisted calls for all young people to take part in sex and relationship education. Even where sex and relationship education does take place, school inspectors say it requires improvement in more than a third of schools.”

Young gay and bisexual men remain at higher risk of HIV. Yet, this Government is denying them the education they need to make wise choices.

The vast majority of parents back sex and relationship education and learning about HIV in schools. It’s time for Michael Gove to listen to parents, experts and young people themselves and make sex and relationship education compulsory.”

Notes to editors

  1. Legislation to make Sex and Relationship Education compulsory was pushed through Parliament by the last Labour Government just before the last election before it was blocked by Michael Gove.
  2. In June 2013, Labour attempted to change the law to ensure all young people received sex and relationship education. However, the move was blocked by Conservative and Lib Dem MPs.
  3. The final National Curriculum Framework document released 11 Sept 2013 removed sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from the national curriculum for Science in key stage 3. At the time, the non-party political National AIDS Trust stated that: To remove STIs from this statutory lesson will be a fundamental set back to the provision of basic sexual health information for young people and this is detrimental to their chances of achieving good sexual health.
  4. In May 2013, OFSTED found that PSHE is not good enough in a "substantial proportion of schools" and that “sex and relationship education required improvement in over a third of schools”. Read the full report, Not yet good enough, on the Ofsted website. 
  5. In a May 2013 survey carried out by independent market research organisation Research Now, on behalf of NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers), the vast majority of parents (88 per cent) said sex education and lessons on adult and peer relationships should be mandatory in schools.