A changing approach

By | News & Politics
Prime Minister David Cameron and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan discuss the modification of the school curriculum for Sex Education studies.Credit@WikimediaCommons.Flickr.

A change in the education system announced by David Cameron aims to modify the curriculum, modifying Sex Education studies as a “compulsory” subject. Following discussions between Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and David Cameron, debates surrounding the change in national curriculum may have in turn engaged a dialogue across the nation regarding the essential nature of the subject within a school and home environment.

The decision made by Prime Minister David Cameron was met with an official stand by the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, as well as having the ability to prompt parents nationwide to evaluate their own position in providing substantive information to their children regarding Sex Education. This information may range from sexual health to internet safety and drugs, all which may look to be updated alongside the evolving nature of technological advancement.

Currently, Sex Education remains mandatory from the age of 11 and only in maintained schools. The proposal for the support  of a compulsory age-appropriate sex and relationships education and compulsory personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) becoming “optional” or consent approved, may be understood due to the subjects intimate nature within a school environment. Sex Education within the curriculum currently stands as non-mandatory in academies or faith schools – where parents may be reluctant to allow their children to participate. However with parliamentary intervention, this approach may be adopted across a larger scale, having the ability to shift the role of responsibility to parents in providing insightful discussions regarding the subject at home, rather in an institution of education.

Similarly to the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, teachers may have additionally shared a dialogue on the productive role the subject may present in remaining compulsory, in which students may have been seen to excel in their emotional intelligence and understanding, thus may have further expanded an imperative dialogue across the nation surrounding the importance of the subject remaining compulsory. This may reflect the Education Secretary’s insistence and motivation to keep the subject compulsory, as a spokeswoman for teachers nationwide, exhibiting the important interplay between political and educational resolution. This may reflect how educational change and politics connect thus may encourage other institutional representatives similar to Nicky Morgan to stand up amidst political challenge.

Both the National Aids Trust and campaigners across the UK have presented a firm stand amidst Cameron’s decision and may have added to the firm belief in the role of school as well as the home remain integral in educating students on sexual awareness and safety. The report by Cameron seems to be also backed by Home Secretary Theresa May, the Business Minister Anna Soubry and International Development Secretary Justine Greening; which may reflect the policies desire may be productive in focussing on core subjects such as English, Maths and Science. This may suggest Parliament considers sex education as a life skill rather than firmly academic, with the suggestion the topic may be at the hands of parents rather than the school and may in turn give parents a larger sense of ownership in how they choose to adopt language and topic choice.

Overall, Cameron’s statement may have had the ability to engage debates across the UK surrounding whose responsibility it is as well as the Conservative parties focus on what may be considered “traditional” subjects that may provide a solid and universal curriculum. However the importance of recognising the social responsibility of parents alongside teachers which have come at a pivotal time in which diversity, religion and cultural customs are recognised as overriding factors in the nature in which it is taught.

Likewise, the dialogue between Educational Secretary Nicky Morgan as well as David Cameron may expand parent’s current knowledge of the curriculum as it stands in schools for 11+, and engage debates amongst parents and teachers regarding its necessity to be improved, modified or compulsory. Similarly, the topics transition from a school to home environment may encourage parents to play a larger role in conversing with their children thoroughly regarding the topic, thus providing support and advice on a timelier basis. 

How may a change in the school curriculum for Sex Education create a new dialogue surrounding social responsibility in teaching?

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