Family Planning says the release of the new sexuality education guidelines today is welcome – but without nationally consistent implementation, our young people are not being well-served.
Chief executive Jackie Edmond says we’ve had guidelines since 2002 and the Education Review Office and others working in this field know that implementation is patchy and not all young people are receiving the holistic relationship and sexuality education they deserve and as the Ministry has prescribed.
“Holistic and comprehensive relationship and sexuality education is vital for healthy development and mental and sexual wellbeing,” Ms Edmond says.
“The guidelines are an important document providing schools with certainty and surety in this curriculum area. However, unless they are fully and nationally implemented and teachers and school leaders are provided with professional development and other support, we won’t see progress.
“My worry is that it’s close to 20 years since we first developed guidelines and we’ve had no meaningful change since then. The guidelines alone won’t deliver the fundamental change we need – we’re going to need more from the Ministry to support schools to deliver this work.”