UK: LGBT+ issues could be taught in school sex education for the first time in history

Issues surrounding sexuality and different genders could be taught in classrooms for the first time ever as part of the biggest shake-up of relationships and sex education (RSE) in almost 20 years.

Parents, teachers and pupils themselves are being called upon by the government to help shape a new RSE curriculum that will equip young people with the knowledge they need to properly navigate the pitfalls of modern living.

It marks the first opportunity for LGBT+ issues to be written into the national curriculum since the abolition of Section 28, which was a clause in the Local Government Act put into place by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1988 explicitly forbidding the "promotion of homosexuality" by local authorities - including schools and councils. 

The current statutory guidance for teaching RSE was rolled out in 2000, whereas Section 28 was only overturned in England and Wales under New Labour in 2003, meaning it has never been compulsory for local authority schools to offer education and guidance on different sexualities and genders. 

An eight-week consultation has been launched by the Government giving people a chance to have their say on the inclusion of issues like sexting, pornography, mental wellbeing and consent.

A letter from the Department for Education to human rights activist Peter Tatchell, seen by The Independent, said that officials "expect all schools to ensure that young people, whatever their developing sexuality or identity, feel that RSE is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs".  Read more via Independent