The results are in for another general election and the people of the UK have spoken. With the Conservative party in power with a majority share of the seats, it looks unlikely young people will be given a statutory entitlement to sex and relationship education (SRE). In their manifesto the Conservatives did not mention SRE, nor personal,social, health and economic education (PSHE).
Statutory SRE has not been supported by the Conservatives at any point despite many campaigns, overwhelming evidence and support from parents, teachers, the Department of Education and young people themselves. It also has support from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party in England and Wales. Scotland under the SNP does not look like it will have statutory SRE any time soon despite a public petition by Sexpression:UK in Scotland and SRE was not mentioned in the SNP manifesto. Other devolved education systems do offer hope. Wales could be the first country in the UK to implement statutory SRE because it has a majority of Labour MPs. It would be great for everyone to support efforts to make SRE statutory in Wales to set an example for the rest of the UK. The rest of the UK must also not forget Northern Ireland and support SRE campaigns there too.
At Sexpression:UK, we will continue to campaign for all young people in the UK to have a statutory entitlement to comprehensive SRE in schools. This is a collective effort with other organisations such as the Sex Education Forum, Brook and the PSHE Association. We are hopeful because support for statutory SRE grows every month and we urge others to join us campaigning to implement it in their country and others within the UK. In the meantime Sexpression:UK will carry on delivering high quality and comprehensive SRE in schools near our 29 branches. In 2014 we reached over 11,000 young people. We want to be part of the effort to ensure no child is left without education that will be crucial throughout their life.