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Education Education

Educate today’s young people in the harms of the internet

Last updated: 10:12am 12 January 2019

We will educate today’s young people in the harms of the internet and how best to combat them, introducing comprehensive Relationships and Sex Education in all primary and secondary schools to ensure that children learn about the risks of the internet, including cyberbullying and online grooming.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.79

Our verdict

Technology, from building a fire to rocket science or brain surgery, has the potential to help or harm individuals and societies. Ideas about how best to use technology can divide people along political, philosophical or religious lines. But most people agree that children should be protected from serious harm.  This policy is about educating children to keep them safe online, specifically by introducing relationships and sex education in schools.

Because this pledge is in the manifesto we are including it as a policy promise, but the government is legally required to provide relationships education to primary school pupils in England, and relationships and sex education to secondary school pupils in England. This became law in April 2017 (before the election in June), when the Children and Social Work Act 2017  was passed. So it’s a policy the government has no choice but to implement, unless they want to break the law!

The government ran a consultation from December 2017 to February 2018 on changes to the teaching of sex and relationships education. Following on from that, a consultation took place between July and November 2018 on new draft regulations and guidance around relationships and sex education. The expectation is that the new regulations “will be laid in the House, alongside final draft guidance, allowing for a full and considered debate in the first half/quarter of 2019”.

The road from consultation to legislation can be a long one, but there is more than enough evidence to say that this one is ‘in progress’.  Follow this policy for future updates.

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There's always room for debate

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