Wales Humanists has called on the Welsh Government to become a world leader in inclusive education, pushing for a religious education (RE) curriculum that features humanism and for a broad-based, age-appropriate relationships and sex (RSE) curriculum.
In its response to the Welsh Government on RE and RSE, Wales Humanists has recommended a range of changes the Government should implement as part of its consultation on the Welsh curriculum.
These including pushing for humanism to be taught as a non-religious worldview in RE alongside the teachings of the major religions, as the Government itself is proposing, and for a maintenance of the right to withdraw from narrowly taught RE in faith schools.
In its response to draft RSE guidance, Wales Humanists expressed serious alarm that, under the proposed current guidance, children would miss out on learning about vital aspects of relationships and sex education that educates them about the facts of life. This includes topics such as sexual health, reproduction, contraception and abortion, puberty, menstruation and FGM, which are largely unmentioned in the current proposals.
Wales Humanists Coordinator Kathy Riddick said: ‘Young people deserve to receive inclusive Relationships and Sex Education to keep them healthy, happy, and safe. Research shows age-appropriate RSE reduces unwanted pregnancies, reduces the spread of STIs, and helps children understand appropriate and inappropriate behaviour so they can better identify if they are at risk. It is therefore vital that the Welsh Government amends its proposals to guarantee that all children are taught a comprehensive curriculum in this area.
‘We also believe it is important for humanism to be taught in detail as it helps young people to form and explore their own beliefs, and develop an understanding of other people’s beliefs. Learning about each other’s beliefs is one way for children to become more tolerant and accepting and prepares them for growing up in modern Britain.’
For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7324 3072.
For more information on our work on relationships and sex education, visit https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/school-curriculum/pshe-and-sex-and-relationships-education
For more information on our work on RE, visit https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/school-curriculum/religious-education/
At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.