Us at C4C headquarters have been extremely excited these past few weeks as we are seeing parliament talk about SRE again! This is very important for us and you so we have put together a quick and easy update on the attempts at SRE improvement happening at the moment. Excitingly, there are two bills fighting their way through parliament as we speak.
The first is called the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Statutory Requirement Bill. This one is sponsored by the ever lovely Caroline Lucas and one of the many great things about this bill is that is does exactly what it says on the tin. This bill says that all state funded schools (including academies, free schools and faith schools that are currently not required to teach any SRE) must provide SRE and education to end VAWG. Education to end VAWG includes, finally, teaching young people about consent! This bill also makes provisions for vital teacher support to make sure teachers are able to provide the best education they can. The next reading of this bill is Friday 24/10/14. You can keep up to date on this bill, including the text of the bill that has not been published yet, here on the government website.
The second is the Sex and Relationship (Education) Bill which is sponsored by Diana Johnson. This bill, if it goes through, means that the Secretary of State has to make provisions (politics speak for get ready) for adding sex and relationships, resilience against bullying and sexual abuse and ending violence against women and girls in the national curriculum. This doesn’t make it compulsory to teach in all schools (academies, faith and free schools will again be exempt) but it does count as a huge step forward in government guidelines and education legislation going in the right direction! The next reading of this bill is on the 21/10/14 and keep up with it here.
Okay, now we know what’s going on, but why does it matter? Well both these bill will put consent in the National Curriculum! That is what we are campaigning for here at Campaign4Consent. That is the obvious reason but both of these bills both have amazing, far reaching benefits for young people in the UK, their sex and relationships. The PSHE Bill is performing what is pretty much the dream role of making sure every child receiving a state education will learn SRE including consent whilst the SRE bill not only extends the National Curriculum to include consent but a variety of issues encountered sadly by thousands of young people around sexual abuse and violence against women. Moreover these bills signal that the government is at last taking educating young people seriously and our voices are being heard. Our hard work and the work of tireless MPs such as Caroline Lucas and Diana Johnson is finally paying off and soon, hopefully, the young people of Britain will be reaping the rewards.
Campaign4Consent is a student lead campaign and we pride ourselves in raising student’s voices on the issue of consent in the curriculum and SRE. Our voices and the voices of our fellow student s who have been failed by current SRE have been calling for consent to be taught so that no more young people must suffer abuse, assault and harassment that is ignored and perpetuated by our education system. This is the first step to stopping the cycle. By teaching children and young people about consent and sexual abuse we are stopping it happening in the future. It is often said that the only way Rape Culture will be eliminated is by teaching perpetrators what they are doing is wrong and if these bills go through, we are one step closer to a society where rape and sexual assault are not only treated with the seriousness and attention they deserve but are wiped out.
Do you want to help these bills? Raise your voice by sending us a blog about why YOU want consent in the Curriculum or you can email your MP asking them to support the bills here.