Mandatory sex-education urged for all primary pupils

Government advisors are today expected to urge the introduction of compulsory sex-education for five-year-olds in an attempt to halve the number of teenage pregnancies. The Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy will state in its annual report that the teaching of sex and relationships in primary schools needs to progress faster and therefore urges the mandatory teaching of personal, social, and health education (PSHE) for all pupils aged five to 16.

Gill Frances, deputy chairwoman of the advisory group, said it was important to implement education programmes on sex and relationships in the early years of primary school as this equipped children with the emotional skills needed to avoid teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection and drug taking.

She told BBC News Online: ‘What is important is that children are able to talk without shame or embarrassment about all the aspects of their life, and have adults around them who can answer the questions that they have.’

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 Department of Health