Archive for category Education

Daily Mail misrepresents sex education, how shocking

Damn, I wish I hadn’t wasted the headline “Sexing up” yesterday.

School children face GCSE sex test… at the age of 11“, according to yesterday’s Mail, while its stablemate Metro tells us “Schools to teach ‘sex GCSE’“. If you just went by the headlines, you might assume that this means 11 year old children are doing an intensive GCSE-level course on the details of sexuality – you don’t have to be especially cynical to suspect that might be a load of rubbish.

In fact, both stories revolve around the Level 1 Award in Sexual Heath Awareness offered by the Northern Council for Further Education. According to the NCFE, the course takes all of 9 hours to teach, and is aimed at “pre-16″ children. Now, “pre-16″ could mean an 11 year old, but it could equally mean a 14 or 15 year old and, sure enough, the Mail admits deeper in its article:

The Department for Education has also agreed to give schools public funding to teach the qualification to 14-year-olds, but it could in theory be offered to pupils as young as 11.

So any schools that do provide it to children that young do so outside the DfE, and it seems unlikely that headteachers would choose to burden 11 year olds, fresh out of primary school, with extra exams anyway.

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