Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Ministry working to improve sex education

The health curriculum was revamped six months ago. Photo / Getty
The health curriculum was revamped six months ago. Photo / Getty

The Ministry of Education is offering schools professional development programmes to help teachers deliver sexuality education after a major overhaul of the health curriculum six months ago.

Lesley Hoskin, associate deputy secretary student achievement, said the Ministry worked with sexual health experts, teachers and health professionals to update guidelines to give schools a clearer understanding of what they needed to consider when covering sexuality education.

The revision took into account changing social climates, recent youth health research and broader understandings about sexuality and sexuality education.

It also covered issues such as abuse, consent and healthy relationships.

Hoskin said as the health curriculum was not prescriptive there were a number of resources schools could use.

Schools were able to use contemporary issues important to students to explain or or illustrate different scenarios or issues.

Programmes used in schools include the ACC's Mates and Dates initiative, which is aimed at preventing sexual and dating violence, Rape Prevention Education's Sex 'n' Respect and Family Planning's The Sexuality Road.

Students were also taught about consent and the perils of social media.

The Ministry was also working on further resources to support teachers.

Schools were currently being offered professional programmes to help them deliver sexuality education.

Health, which includes sexuality education, is the only part of the curriculum on which schools need to consult their parent community every two years.

- Herald on Sunday

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