EPS has welcomed bold plans to modernise the teaching of sex education in secondary schools.
The founders of the youth work social enterprise have said the changes are long overdue in an age where young people are at risk of becoming “over- sexualised”.
The Government has announced a radical overhaul of sex and relationships education as young people are increasingly exposed to pornography and at risk of grooming or abuse online.
Poor sexual health outcomes for Blackpool’s residents are well documented: diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections are significantly higher than the national average. However, the town’s teenage pregnancy rates have been slowly declining for the last few years.
Youth worker Andy Walker, a director of EPS, said: “We welcome these changes, which, in our opinion, are long overdue. We see firsthand the impact of inconsistent sex and relationships education and mixed messages in media which influence young people. Social media and celebrity culture can make young people feel they ought to be engaging in relationships and or sex, from a young age, leading them to be over-sexualised. This is on top of the grooming and sexual exploitation that children and young people in Blackpool are statistically more likely at risk of.
“This will build on the good work that we know already takes place in Blackpool’s schools, and we know they will rise to this challenge. We will be happy to support schools in delivering this, using our extensive experience in delivering this area of the curriculum.
“We understand parents may have some concerns but this is not something to fear – it is about healthy relationships, preparing young people and helping them to make good choices. Sexual health isn’t just about physical health but psychological health and wellbeing.”