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12th Jul 2023

Sex education will be made mandatory for fifth and sixth year pupils

Kat O'Connor

Sex education will be mandatory for fifth and sixth-year pupils under the new SPHE curriculum.

The updated sex education syllabus will include classes about consent, and the influence pornography has on behaviours.

Pupils will also learn about how to notice the signs of abusive relationships.

The new curriculum will be mandatory for all pupils.

The programme will be “inclusive of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities, religious beliefs, social classes, and abilities/disabilities”.

Updating the SPHE curriculum was a “key priority” for the NCCA.

The NCCA stated:

“The educational experience in the senior cycle should be inclusive of every student, respond to their learning needs, celebrate value, and respect diversity.

“Students vary in their family and cultural backgrounds, languages, age, ethnic status, beliefs, gender, and sexual identity as
well as their needs, interests, aptitudes, prior knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions.

“Every student’s identity should be celebrated, respected, and responded to throughout their time in senior cycle.”

The update comes after the Junior Cycle SPHE programme was refreshed.

The three-year Junior Cycle curriculum addresses issues like self-awareness and self-esteem, the use of pornography, LGBTQ+ issues and sexual consent.