We’re deeply concerned by yesterday’s announcement that schools in England will be banned from teaching sex education to children under nine, while limiting it for children under 13, with the new government guidance likely to be published today (Thursday). 

According to reports, learning about sexual activity, gender identity, domestic violence, coercive control, and sexual violence will be delayed until the age of 13.

This is extremely troubling – the reality is that many young people are dealing with these issues long before they turn 13. As a preventative education charity dedicated to supporting young people to have healthy relationships and break the cycle of relationship abuse, we strongly believe in the power of early intervention. Having age-appropriate conversations about sensitive topics from a young age and normalising these discussions, sets a foundation for healthy communication as children grow and develop. It also provides young people with the language and tools to discuss difficult topics and have the confidence to set healthy boundaries in their relationships. 

Constructive and sensitive sex and relationships education also means young people are less likely to rely on the internet for answers, where they can be faced with explicit sexual content, highly misogynistic views  and harmful misinformation and messaging. 

LMK stands with the National Education Union and others across the sector who have raised the alarm at these plans and urges the government to provide the evidence which shows that these proposed age limits will improve  the support, protection and safeguarding of children. Lets role model healthy relationships and together work towards an open and inclusive education that empowers all young people with the knowledge and skills they need for healthy relationships.