• PLEASE HELP US DEMAND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION AS PART OF THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM

    No More Page 3 are proud to be part of a pop campaign in support of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, demanding sex and relationship education be part of the national curriculum. This is following on from the One Billion Rising Campaign and widespread concerns about the sexual harassment and abuse of young people.

    As No More Page 3 supporter, MP Stella Creasy says.

    ‘For too long now we’ve had warm words but no action on improving sex and relationship education in our schools, despite repeated calls for all boys and girls get these lessons. When we’re teaching children about compost and compound interest but not consent something has to change. Sexual harassment, violence and abuse affects millions of young people in Britain –that’s why we have to teach them not only about the biology of sex but to respect each other and have healthy relationships. This coalition shows just how many parents, domestic violence and sexual health charities agree as well as young people themselves. Hoping schools will do this isn’t good enough – its time to put consent on the curriculum’

    CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US!! WE DON”T HAVE MUCH TIME!

    CAN YOU EMAIL YOUR MP TODAY??

    Please use the text at the bottom of this post to ask your MP to support NC20 on Tuesday 11 June.

    We have just five days to make sure every young person in Britain is taught to develop positive and equal relationships with their peers.

    Please join our pop up campaign by asking your MP to vote yes to making relationship education a statutory part of the national curriculum.

    The case for New Clause 20 is overwhelming. Research by Women’s Aid shows 50% of 16-18 year olds wouldn’t know where to go to get support if affected by domestic abuse and 18% were unsure or didn’t believe slapping counted as domestic violence. YouGov found almost a third (29%) of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school[1], and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape[2]. Ofsted[3] highlights the continued poor quality of sex education provision in the UK the Children’s Commissioner has expressed her concerns about children’s increased exposure to sexualised imagery[4].

    No More Page 3 along with Women’s Aid, Equals, End Violence Against Women, Everyday Sexism, Brook, the PHSE Association, the Terence Higgins Trust, NSPCC and the Family Planning Association and Brook are tabling New Clause 20 to the Children and Families Bill. This would make age appropriate sex and relationship education statutory at all stages of the curriculum for both boys and girls. At present the Government plans to teach children about compound interest and composting. We believe its time we also taught them about consent and respect too.

    Please use the text below to ask your MP to support NC20 on Tuesday 11 June. Please share this email with your friends and family to ask them to do the same. You can find their contact details here.

    Together we can make every school a safer place for all!

    p.s. You can also help the campaign by sharing your support for this on social media using the #Yes2NC20 tag!

    Draft text to send to your MP

    You can find your MP here!

    I’m writing to you to ask you as my local MP to vote for New Clause 20 of the Children and Families Bill which will make relationship education a statutory part of the national curriculum on Tuesday 11 June 2013.

    At the moment, sex education is compulsory on the National Curriculum, but this focuses primarily on the mechanics and biology of sex as well as good sexual health. We want to put the R into sex education. Whilst families play a key role in mentoring children to overcome these cultural and social pressures, high quality sex and relationship education delivered to both boys and girls is also a vital tool in equipping and empowering young people to cope with the challenges and pressures they face. This should be grounded in a zero tolerance approach to violence against women and girls that is reinforced throughout schools from the curriculum to behaviour policies. Making SRE part of the curriculum would also guarantee standardised materials and resources being made available for teacher training, improving quality.

    Recent research by Women’s Aid and Avon found that 50% of 16-18 year olds wouldn’t know where to go to get support if affected by domestic abuse and 18% were unsure or didn’t believe slapping counted as domestic violence. A YouGov poll in 2010 found that almost a third (29%) of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school[5], and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape[6]. Ofsted[7] highlights the continued poor quality of sex education provision in the UK the Children’s Commissioner has expressed her concerns about children’s increased exposure to sexualised imagery[8]. Its time we ensure all our young people have the support to form healthy and respectful relationships with their peers. After all, if children can be made to learn about compound interest[9] and now compost[10] through the new national curriculum, why not consent? Please vote yes to New Clause 20 to the children and families bill.

    [1]http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/data/files/Schools_Safe_4_Girls/YouGov_poll_for_EVAW_on_sexual_harassment_in_schools_2010.pdf

    [2] http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/findings/partner_exploitation_and_violence_wda68092.html

    [3] http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/not-yet-good-enough-personal-social-health-and-economic-education-schools

    [4] http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications/content_667

    [5]http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/data/files/Schools_Safe_4_Girls/YouGov_poll_for_EVAW_on_sexual_harassment_in_schools_2010.pdf

    [6] http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/findings/partner_exploitation_and_violence_wda68092.html

    [7] http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/not-yet-good-enough-personal-social-health-and-economic-education-schools

    [8] http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications/content_667

    [9] http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/feb/07/money-skills-secondary-school-curriculum

    [10] http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/school_meals/article1251936.ece

26 Comments

  1. Graham Warwick says: June 7, 2013 at 8:07 pmReply

    It’s time to consign Page 3 to the garbage and for men to grow up

  2. Paul Robinson says: June 7, 2013 at 8:14 pmReply

    I really don’t see the need for pictures of semi-naked women in a so called family newspaper. If anyone wants to view such images, they are easy enough to come by in magazines published for the purpose.
    I doubt the Sun would even try it, even as an experiment, for fear of loss of circulation, but wouldn’t it be a responsible thing to do?!

  3. Catherine Macaulay says: June 7, 2013 at 8:17 pmReply

    With the greatest of respect, I think there is danger in the NMP3 campaign diversifying its agenda. I would kindly ask to stick to your central mission of NMP3 or you risk alienating women like myself who are staunchly opposed to Page 3 but do not really support relationship advice on the national curriculum. Thanks.

    • Claire says: June 8, 2013 at 2:10 amReply

      I couldn’t disagree more. I’m very glad they have diversified, otherwise I would not have had the chance to throw my support behind the new clause on the National Curriculum. I’m not sure what reasons there could be for not arming our children with lessons about consent?? It is becoming very clear with causes such as Steubenville, Audrey Potts, etc, that many young boys and girls DON’T understand the true meaning of consent. The Steubenville boys actually did not think they had committed an offense, even thought girl was vomiting throughout the assault. Arming the future generation with the correct information at age appropriate lessons is a massive step forward. For years it has been the school of thought to teach girls and boys how to not get raped. and stay safe. How about we start teaching boys and girls to not rape in the first place?!!!

  4. Barry says: June 7, 2013 at 8:44 pmReply

    Education is vital and so is learning about relationships and what is right and wrong neither are exclusive and all are required to grow and prosper. By separating PHSE and not teaching it you are denying young people the chance to do that very thing.

  5. Mrs G Chew says: June 7, 2013 at 9:56 pmReply

    Dear Lucy and Colleagues,

    I don’t believe your definition of relationship education is the same as mine, judging from a previous email.

    I believe we should teach abstinence, not consent; the responsibility that comes with the act of intimacy, not the avoidance of consequences by using contraceptive and protective aids; the value of friendship, rather than the pressure of ‘relationship’, and the courage of commitment and fidelity, not the selfishness of serial dating.

    My definition of respect appears to include things that most people younger than my 47 years – and some that are older – consider impossibly high standards, or else insanely old-fashioned. But I point out to you that we’ve been trying it “the younger generation’s way” since at least the 1940s as far as sexual conduct goes, and year on year the statistics get worse.

    If the way they’re doing things isn’t working, maybe it’s time to change the way it’s done.

    Regards
    Mrs Glenys Chew
    1 Corinthians 15:10 By the grace of God I am what I am…

    • Claire says: June 8, 2013 at 2:35 amReply

      I think you may be missing the point about ‘teaching consent’. Consent is usually considered in the terms of what is considered legally to be reasons a person has not given consent to a sexual encounter, for example having sexual relations with some-one who is drunk, on drugs, or otherwise incapacitated, that person is unable to give consent to the act -They are not ‘asking for it’, they are unable to participate, or give consent. Coersion into the act, is also a consent issue. Teaching the value of abstinence and the value of friendship over relationships are all valuable and should be on the agenda too, and go hand in hand with the loving nature of a consensual relationship, but they don’t cover the issue of those teenagers that are having sex – and will have sex regardless – knowing what is and isn’t acceptable. Abstinence lessons are not as effective without parental confirmation, and if that is not what is being taught at home, it is less likely to be the way the girl or boy chooses to live their life. Lessons at school need to deal with the practicalities of the pressures and issues which teenagers are facing in their reality. Examples such as Steubenville only highlight the need for conversations about consent even more now than ever. Those boys didn’t have sex with the drunk girl, but they sexually assaulted her in front of a crowd and no-one spoke up. That in itself speaks volumes about what is lacking in their education about consensual, loving relationships.

    • Ellanor says: June 8, 2013 at 10:17 amReply

      Dear Glenys,

      As you may be aware, abstinence only education is mainly taught in various states across the USA. We can establish from teachings in the USA that if we were to teach abstinence only education, it would have to be revised from the current format.

      Abstinence only education has many problems. One of the first is the idea that “teenagers or adults should not have premarital sex”, a phrase which is religion based and may not be applicable to those in the LGBTQ community. This has a negative impact on easily impressionable children; those minority who cannot get married will feel excluded.

      Various statistics also state that this form of sex education does not lower cases of STI’s or unwanted pregnancies. This may be because abstinence only education is usually biased on the opinion that contraceptives, birth control, and protective aids should not be used (the idea instead being that sex should not be done at all); this leads to inadequate information being relayed to children which focuses on the failures and negativities of safe-sex.

      I believe that consent is an important thing to teach, whether it is the right to say “no”, to not be pressured, or just the general assurance that you have your choice — and this applies to either sex/gender, of course! Am I correct in thinking that abstinence only education currently informs children on their right to consent, and how to reject sexual advances? This is a positive; comprehensive sex education should certainly place more importance on this factor.

      My own personal opinion is that sex education should not exclude any minority group. This includes people of all sexualities – including asexual persons. The idea that we must have a relationship, and, in fact, that it is normal to have a relationship, is false, and there are some who simply cannot relate to this. I agree with you that the pressure to engage on a sexual and intimate level is wrong; however, I press my point that on the other extreme, pressuring people to not have sex at all is also wrong.

      The term “slut shaming” is valid here. A women’s body is her own, and she is entitled to do what she wishes with it; if that means that she wishes to have sex before marriage, then so be it! The belief that you should not be “allowed” to do this provides basis for others to criticise those who are more sexually promiscuous for being a “slut”, and other such derogatory names. An individuals idea of respect does not mean that everyone must comply with it: One who has sex 7 days a week can have as much self respect for oneself as one who does not have sex at all; respect for yourself is being comfortable with your own choices. Names should not be given to those who serial date – names should not be given to anybody, regardless of their decisions!

      I hope it does not seem like I am condemning your opinion. I am a 15 year old girl who has been through comprehensive sex education and was not impressed with the standards – On the other hand I don’t believe that abstinence only education is the right way forward either, and I would not be happy having any future children or grandchildren of mine being taught either one. We need to find a way to teach it so that everyone is included, and no one is left out; many insecurities and bullying comes from our sexual lives (or lack of them, respectfully), and therefore sex education should be treated delicately.

      Ultimately children should be taught about all of their choices, and sex education should reach a compromise between all ideas.

      I hope I haven’t been too rude, for I respect what you have to say.

      Yours,
      Ellanor

    • Karen says: June 8, 2013 at 10:56 amReply

      If you want kids to grow up able to make the decision not to have sex, you have to teach them the importance of consent.

      I think you’ve mistaken the concept of the importance of teaching kids about consent with teaching kids that anything goes – the absolute opposite of what’s being advocated here.

      Teaching kids about consent means they’re less likely to be abused, and less likely to abuse others. It means that those who wish to remain chaste get to do so without being pressured or mocked. It means that each person’s boundaries are respected. It is about dignity – yours and others’.

      If you don’t want kids to grow up resistant to peer pressure, emotionally resilient, and able to make good, healthy choices about how, when and with whom they have sex as adults, and if you want to increase sexually predatory behaviour and the spread of STIs due to ignorance and lack of care for partners, then by all means oppose the teaching of consent.

      If you want them to grow up to have a strong sense of self-control, integrity, and the ability to make healthy choices, then support it.

    • Carol says: June 9, 2013 at 11:50 amReply

      At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, I agree with you!

  6. helen buckingham says: June 7, 2013 at 10:23 pmReply

    Yes of course relationships should be discussed with children: but What about less pornography in public for them to come across, though? Those who must resort to pornography should be creating their own, and keeping it to themselves as a rather personal matter– not expecting it to be manufactured for them on screen, or in publications. These things are a private matter and there are experts who can handle it in private. Children should not be exposed to such a thing, and most adults don’t want to be, quite frankly. As soon as this sort of thing becomes par for the course respect for women goes out of the window.

    • Karen says: June 8, 2013 at 11:01 amReply

      Teaching about consent and dealing with the issue of the “pornification” of culture are not mutually exclusive areas of endeavour.

      I’d argue that they bolster each other enormously. Getting rid of the Page 3 and Lads Mags mentality involves teaching kids respect for their bodies and the bodies of others; teaching them the concept of consent reinforces a healthy cultural attitude towards sex in which the “Lad” culture cannot thrive.

      So if you want to deal with one, you pretty much have to deal with the other.

  7. Amh says: June 7, 2013 at 10:24 pmReply

    Relationships…the source if all our pain and pleasure! Of course we should be learning more about this in schools…of course!! However, it need s to be resourced…a teacher who is uncomfortable or against this, or under skilled, will, do it badly or resentfully…so bring back PSHE advisors, anti bullying alliance funding and money for SEAL training in schools. Life is too important to only be doing numeracy and literacy!!

    • Carol says: June 9, 2013 at 11:51 amReply

      Hear, hear!

  8. Lindsay Murch says: June 7, 2013 at 10:29 pmReply

    Thanks for providing the template. I’ve written to my MP so lets hope others do the same.

  9. Sharon Hodgson says: June 7, 2013 at 11:12 pmReply

    Sharon,

    please support the campaign

    Norman

  10. Adrien says: June 8, 2013 at 12:36 amReply

    Just emailed my MP, she is usually very supportive of such causes
    All the best

  11. Theresa Chipulina says: June 8, 2013 at 12:53 amReply

    I support the campaign to stop Page 3 but I have reservations about schools delivering sexual relationship education and it becoming part of legislation. Teachers should be concentrating on delivering education in the core subjects to ensure our children can contribute to society. Guidance on relationships is surely a matter to be conducted in private, within the family and by the parents. I see myself as the educator of my child regarding her moral and spiritual upbringing, not educators in schools.

  12. Julia Inch says: June 8, 2013 at 9:13 amReply

    Parliament needs to address changing attitudes to women in society, of which page three is a part, and consider the effect that access to violent pornography and indecent and horrific images of children being sexually violated, is generally accessible by
    children on the computers they are taught to use.

  13. Martin says: June 8, 2013 at 10:46 amReply

    Just wanted to highlight that schools do provide Sex/Relationships Ed – admittedly not the favourite thing I do as a tutor of year 7s! However, that’s more because I haven’t had any training to do so and I feel a little underprepared for it even if all of the resources are provided for it by my fantastic school. We do need a return to either specialist advisers or funding to pay for teaching staff to deliver it. You can’t all teachers to be naturally good at this! We’ll give it a go, though!

  14. Paul McCrea says: June 8, 2013 at 2:31 pmReply

    I’m writing to you to ask you as my local MP to vote for New Clause 20 of the Children and Families Bill which will make relationship education a statutory part of the national curriculum on Tuesday 11 June 2013.

    At the moment, sex education is compulsory on the National Curriculum, but this focuses primarily on the mechanics and biology of sex as well as good sexual health. We want to put the R into sex education. Whilst families play a key role in mentoring children to overcome these cultural and social pressures, high quality sex and relationship education delivered to both boys and girls is also a vital tool in equipping and empowering young people to cope with the challenges and pressures they face. This should be grounded in a zero tolerance approach to violence against women and girls that is reinforced throughout schools from the curriculum to behaviour policies. Making SRE part of the curriculum would also guarantee standardised materials and resources being made available for teacher training, improving quality.

    Recent research by Women’s Aid and Avon found that 50% of 16-18 year olds wouldn’t know where to go to get support if affected by domestic abuse and 18% were unsure or didn’t believe slapping counted as domestic violence. A YouGov poll in 2010 found that almost a third (29%) of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school[5], and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape[6]. Ofsted[7] highlights the continued poor quality of sex education provision in the UK the Children’s Commissioner has expressed her concerns about children’s increased exposure to sexualised imagery[8]. Its time we ensure all our young people have the support to form healthy and respectful relationships with their peers. After all, if children can be made to learn about compound interest[9] and now compost[10] through the new national curriculum, why not consent? Please vote yes to New Clause 20 to the children and families bill.

  15. PSV Davey says: June 8, 2013 at 3:05 pmReply

    I’d have to echo what Catherine Macaulay said. This is a case of, “Be careful what you wish for.”

    The aim of killing “page 3″ and such-like is great, and of course it’s important that children should grow up knowing the true value of good relationships, but if you want that to be taught by state-employed teachers instead of parents you’re being terminally naive. You won’t get the state to teach the values that you value unless it just happens that those values are the same, which is only going to hold true for a small percentage of the population.

    Rather, what’s needed is for parents to learn how to pass their values on to their children. That’s both their right and their responsibility. You just can’t leave it to the state. If you do, then you will have to accept whatever moral values the state espouses this week.

    Look at how Cameron’s government at the moment is laughably trying to redefine the English language! They can make as much new legislation as they like to create new types of relationship, but to call some new-fangled relationship idea, “marriage”, is so preposterous as to be laughable. They might as well pass a law to redefine “black” as “whilte”; in fact, that could be a more logical thing to do – it could destroy racism at a stroke.

    Now, if you’d raised a petition to get the state’s fingers out of indoctrinating our kids on relationships you’d have had my vote. Just keep on the Page 3 route, and more power to your elbows! And if you can think of ways to support and educate parents, go for it – it’s needed!

    George Orwell, we miss you!

    http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/06/08/what-gay-sex-curriculum-for-children-13-looks-like/

  16. Christine Hyatt says: June 8, 2013 at 3:15 pmReply

    Responding to Mrs Glenys Chew, if she is 47 – the same age as my daughter – she can have no personal knowledge of the 1940s, 50s and 60s, and I can assure her that it was a very bad time for young people: no contraception for the unmarried, abortion illegal until1967, and most unmarried mothers (as we were termed) had their babies taken away for adoption (I was one of the lucky oneswho managed, thanks to the help of friends, to keep mine). We must never go back to those times, though equally young people should not be pressured or forced into unwanted sexual relations either. So we need good sexeducation and relationship guidance in schools and contraceptive advice, abortion (so that every baby is wanted), and vaccination for girls against cervical cancer.

  17. emma piquemal says: June 8, 2013 at 7:23 pmReply

    just a bit of feedback. I whole heartedly support your campaign, but usually you can just sign or send a letter to your mp. I cant see how to do that here – it looks like you want people to fine there MP’s details then send the draft letter above? I think, realistically, you will get like 10% of the people who would have signed a petition/forwarded a letter if it was a click of a button, who will actually go to the trouble of finding their MP’s contact details on line. Can you not set this up so you can just hit send to your mp, ive done that before?
    best
    Emma

  18. Rod Rout says: June 9, 2013 at 8:36 amReply

    Please please support NC20 on June 11th. Our society will crumble without initiatives like this……….!

  19. Lynda Dobson says: June 18, 2013 at 10:11 pmReply

    Showing page 3 images only helps young people to think that’s normal. Girls think they have to strive to look that way to be worthy of being noticed, and end up worrying about their wieght, the size of their boobs, how their hair looks etc, rather than valuing and thinking about WHO they are and how precious each and every one of them is as a unique human being. The lads think that’s what girls should be like – plus the expectation that they’re going to be ‘sexy’, and creates a huge amount of unrealistic pressure to perform. All such shallow ideals and not about the real people underrneath and their real feelings. No wonder so many suffer with poor sel esteem and lack confidence.
    Parents are the first and enduring educators -parents need to take more responsibility in showing children good values and caring relationships, then their schools and their communities – and ALL of us! Think of some of the people in your life who impressed you – I bet they didn’t have ‘pefect photo-shoot’ bodies!?

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