Scotland

MSPs criticise 'patchy' sex education provision in Scottish schools

Teenagers holding hands Image copyright Getty Images

Sex education for children in Scotland is "patchy" and shows a lack of consistency, a parliamentary committee has said.

The Scottish Parliament's education and skills committee is now calling for a review of all personal and social education (PSE).

This includes mental health, relationships and substance misuse.

The Scottish government said it had already committed to a national review of PSE.

The committee was examining how PSE is taught in Scotland and what should be included as part of the subject.

Committee convener James Dornan said it was clear that in some parts of the country PSE was "not a priority".

Pupil needs

"The committee heard worrying accounts of vital topics such as what constitutes sexual consent and LGBTI issues not being covered. This simply is not good enough," he said.

"This is a subject which is not just a 'nice to have'. It is a vital part of our education system and one which can help foster an inclusive environment where all children and young people can learn about respecting themselves and others."

The SNP MSP welcomed the Scottish government's establishment of a working group on LBGTI inclusive education, but called on ministers to review how PSE is taught in schools as soon as possible.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "We have already committed to a national review of personal and social education, the role of guidance in schools and school counselling services for children and young people. We welcome the committee's report and the recommendations will be considered as part of this review.

"Health and wellbeing is spread right across the curriculum and is one of the three core areas that all school staff have responsibility for.

"Schools are encouraged to develop the curriculum to suit their local area and meet the needs of pupils."

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