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PE01526: Making Sex and Relationship Education in Scotland Statutory for all Schools


Petitioner: Jack Fletcher on behalf of Sexpression:UK


Date Lodged: 27 June 2014

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce comprehensive sex and relationship education (SRE) into the Scottish Education Curriculum and make it statutory for all schools to teach. I recommend that SRE should build upon current education guidelines and include additional criteria to keep up with technological advances. In providing non-judgemental accurate information in these areas, the children and young people of Scotland can have the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions for themselves.

Petition History:


30 September 2014: The Committee took evidence from Jack Fletcher, and Rebecca Ryce, Sexpression:UK. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Educational Institute of Scotland, a cross-section of local authorities and to seek information on the policies and their effectiveness in other EU countries. Link to Official Report 30 September 2014 (509KB pdf)

Below: Jack Fletcher and Rebecca Ryce at the meeting on 30 September 2014


9 December 2014: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the petitioners are supportive of the Scottish Government’s forthcoming revised sex and relationship education (SRE) guidance; the Scottish Government has given a commitment to raise the profile of SRE when it publishes its revised guidance; Education Scotland will be tasked with monitoring and assessing the implementation and delivery of the Government’s revised SRE guidance by local authorities, and the submissions received by the Committee were supportive of the current non-mandatory provision of SRE. Link to Official Report 9 December 2014  

Written Submissions:

I am a member of Sexpression:UK the only youth organisation delivering high quality comprehensive SRE in our local areas. We deliver non-judgemental information in a small group discussion format. Feedback revealed that 80-90% of our pupils ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that they felt better prepared to make decisions in the future regarding their sexual health and relationships. Education is key to empowering the children and young people of Scotland to making healthier choices in their lives. Scotland should be following other European nations in providing statutory SRE, with guidance documents such as by the Sex Education Forum, Brook and PSHE Association are great in explaining the importance of comprehensive SRE (http://www.brook.org.uk/images/brook/professionals/documents/page_content/SRE/SRE_Supplementary_Advice_2014.pdf).

Without schools providing reliable information many young people will turn to other resources on the internet which can have incorrect information. They also turn to friends for information and this can pereptuate myths of sexual health and relationship ideals, but also add to peer pressure issues such as 'sexting'. SRE does not make people more promiscuous, but actually have less partners and more likely to use contraception in their first sexual encounter, which is also at an older age than those that do not receive SRE. We are denying children the right to comprehensive education that is needed for all the relationships they encounter in their lives. As a result of more widespread education, Scotland should also see a reduction in sexual harassment cases and in the burden of sexual health issues on the NHS. Parents need to be involved in SRE too and a basis of knowledge gained from school is crucial to making sure no child is left without knowing information crucial to their personal and inter-personal development. With the passing of the Eqaul Marriage Bill, we should be teaching about LGBT issues and creating a more inclusive society.

It's difficult for gay and trans children in any case, they should have education to help them work out where they are going.

Frann Leach

21:55 on 27 Jun 2014

we need this in England, well we need it in all schools world-wide, plus #NoMorePage3

Les Morgan

0:32 on 25 Jun 2014

This should not be a taboo subject in 2014. It is time young people were taught about healthy attitudes towards sex.

Rachel Fitzpatrick

21:15 on 24 Jun 2014

Sex is not something that cannot be ignored


20:35 on 24 Jun 2014

It is important that all young people are able to recognise what constitutes non- exploitative and non violent sexual relations. With the increase in access to Internet porn and violent porn it is important that children have the tools to deal with this.

Jennifer Forsyth

8:41 on 24 Jun 2014

reality is that whether we like it or not children are having multiple sexual partners from an early age. it is imperative that children are given the information they need to prevent this or at least increase awareness of safety precautions.

Kathleen Murray

10:59 on 23 Jun 2014


gul wakil

19:01 on 21 Jun 2014

This needs to happen the only way we progress is through education. We can never accomplish great things with our eyes shut. My sex and realionhsip education was shockingly bad and I don't want any children I have to be misinformed

Megan Birtill

12:20 on 21 Jun 2014

education and awareness are key factors and Schools are a good target audience.

Maura Stott

13:56 on 20 Jun 2014

If I ever have a child, I would like for it to be well educated, this would then reduce the chance of it being ignorant to the feelings of others. I also don't want other children being horrible to my kid just because of his gender or sexual orientation.

Laura Sinclair

19:12 on 19 Jun 2014

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