UK Family Law Reform

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Pupils as young as 5 to be given sex education

Alexandra Frean 24th October 2008

Children as young as five are to be taught about parts of the body, relationships and the effects of drugs, under reforms to the national curriculum announced by the government today.

All state school pupils in England are in future to receive compulsory lessons in sex, relationships, drug misuse, personal finance and first aid, in both primary and secondary schools.

The decision to make Personal, Social and Health Education a compulsory subject for pupils of all ages, announced this morning, follows the publication today of two reports – an eight-month review into sex and relationships education led by the schools minister Jim Knight, and a report by the Advisory Group on Drug and Alcohol Education.

At the start of his review, Mr Knight said he was concerned that sex and relationship education provision was patchy, and that it was failing to tackle Britain's unusually high rate of underage pregnancies and rising levels of sexually transmitted infections among the young. Last year, the number of abortions for girls under the age of 16 increased by 10 per cent, to 4,376.

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