Two-third students prefer sex education given by older teens
A new survey has revealed that secondary school pupils prefer young people giving them sex and relationship education (SRE) lessons rather than their seniors teachers.
According to a survey conducted by ComRes, Half of pupils aged 13 to 17 said that they felt awkward asking their teachers questions about sexual matters and the same number said that they had not learnt enough.
However, two-thirds said that they would feel comfortable talking about sex, if the lesson were taught by an older teenager.
The Government is reviewing the provision of personal, social and health education in schools, which includes sex education.
Currently, teachers do not need specialist training and children can opt out if their parents request it.
By law, pupils must learn the biology of reproduction, but lessons about sexuality, sexual relationships and family planning are not statutory and the Government has ruled out making them so in its review.
The Family Planning Association (FPA), which has been campaigning for statutory sex and relationships education, said that poor teaching early on could have serious implications in later life.
"You could have a geography teacher, by virtue of the fact that they're 26, suddenly having to teach SRE," the Independent quoted a spokeswoman for the FPA, Rebecca Findlay as saying.
"It's a specialised subject which needs to be recognised.
"Peer educators are part of that but we need properly qualified teachers as well.
"It's not just about the biology. It's about giving young people the skills, confidence and self-esteem to be able to make their own decisions about sex.
"A lack of reliable information and guidance can later impact on issues like sexual abuse, bullying and consent.
"There need to be trained people in the classroom and peer educators have their place in that," she added.