Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the announcement today that the Department of Education and Skills has ordered a review of the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in schools.

This review has been stated to include LGBTQ+ aspects of the curriculum as well as modules on consent and contraception.

Senator Warfield said:

“The review announced today is sorely needed. It has become apparent in recent months being reflected in the ancillary recommendations of the Citizen’s Assembly, Joint Committee on the 8th Amendment and is the top priority of the LGBTI+ Youth Strategy.

“It has become abundantly clear that young people aren’t receiving a robust or inclusive education of relationships or sexuality and we are failing to impart positive and informed values in that manner.

“RSE and SPHE are largely taught on an ad-hoc basis that does not support teachers in delivering well-rounded content and all previous communications from the Department has only led to grey areas.

“If we are to truly build an inclusive RSE, that does not leave any young person out of the conversation, this review must include students with disabilities, as a requirement.

“The review must also ask serious questions of the “characteristic spirit” clause which determines that ethos based schools can essentially derogate from certain aspects of a curriculum, which is simply unworkable in this context.”