Over half of children in the North West want schools to provide lessons on sex and relationships.
A poll for children’s charity Barnardo’s found more than 60% of children in the North West wanted more education to reflect lifestyle issues. Over 70% of children also believe such lessons would also increase their safety if they were implemented.
Almost all children surveyed agreed that knowledge on staying safe online and recognising potential dangers was important, while 94% said they wanted to learn about the risks of sharing pictures of themselves with a stranger according to the poll by YouGov.
The results support the efforts of the charity who are calling for the government to introduce compulsory lessons on these subjects through the Children and Social Work Bill, and want MP’s to push for the change while it is being debated in the Commons.
Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Maria Miller called the response of children wanting the government to help protect them “striking” and said: “The case for compulsory sex and relationship education has never been stronger.”
Barnardo’s chief executive Javid Khan said: “The overwhelming majority of children who answered our poll believe they would be safer if they had age appropriate sex and relationships lessons in school. It's time to listen to children who are clearly telling us that they need help in understanding the digital dangers and the risks of sharing images of themselves with strangers.” Calling online grooming “a very real danger” he stated that almost half of girls polled were concerned about strangers talking to them online.
He urged for compulsory lessons on these subjects to be introduced “as soon as possible” to prevent children from being groomed and exploited online. He added: “It's time for government to make sure we give all children the knowledge that will help keep them safe. These children have spoken loud and clear and the government must not ignore them."