Schools in England will teach LGBT-inclusive relationship and sex education starting 2020, the Department of Education announced on Monday (February 25).
The changes will be implemented as part of a reform of the school curricula which will add new subjects focusing on mental and physical health as well as relationship education.
The curriculum will adapt according to the pupils’ age—primary schools pupils will receive relationships education, while secondary school students will learn about relationships and sex education (RSE).
The sex education guidance has received its first update since 2000, discussing LGBT+ relationships and identities as well as issues such as sexting, FGM, and menstrual health.
A Department of Education spokesperson told PinkNews that, at primary school level, pupils will be taught about various family models, including same-sex families. At secondary school, the curriculum will address LGBT+ issues, including how damaging stereotypes, including those based sexual orientation or gender, can be.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds stated: “Almost twenty years on from the last time guidance on sex education was updated, there is a lot to catch up on.
“Although sex education is only mandatory to teach at secondary, it must be grounded in a firm understanding and valuing of positive relationships, and respect for others, from primary age. In turn positive relationships are connected with good mental health, which itself is linked with physical wellbeing. So it is appropriate to make health education universal alongside relationships and sex education.”
The Department of Education has set aside a £6 million budget for the following school year to ensure teachers will be prepared to handle the new subjects in September 2020. The Department for Education will also provide support to early-adopter schools who will start teaching the new content from September 2019.