Let’s talk about sex – but not with 7-year-olds

Stuff co.nz 16 September 2014
Children as young as 7 are the new target for the birds-and-the-bees chat in British classrooms – but school leaders here say it is parents who need to take responsibility for sex education.

The Liberal Democrats, who are part of Britain’s governing coalition, are proposing all children in state schools get lessons about sex and relationships from the age of 7.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Education is reviewing sex education in the curriculum, but schools will continue to be responsible for when they decide to teach it.

“Schools know their students and are best placed to decide when sensitive issues like sexuality education are covered,” deputy secretary Graham Stoop said.

Patrick Walsh, principal of John Paul College in Rotorua, who has worked with the ministry on guidelines including bullying, said he believed primary school was too soon for sex education, but intermediate school principals were having to deal with sexuality issues because some 13-year-olds were sexually active with their parents’ consent.