Not enough teachers have the right expertise to talk about delicate subjects like sexuality and domestic violence and this, Ofsted inspectors claim, could leave some children in a vulnerable position.
The Ofsted warning comes after unions raised concerns about the effects of sexualisation in popular culture, media and wider society on school children.
Over the Easter holidays, unions gathered to share concerns about the negative impact of pornography and celebrity culture on young people’s body confidence. They called for better training to help teachers deal with these issues.
In a report looking at the standard of teaching in personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), Ofsted found that it required improvement in 40% of schools across the country.
Too much emphasis was placed on friendships and relationships at primary school level, leaving children ill-prepared for the physical and emotional changes that come with puberty. In secondary schools it’s thought too much emphasis is placed on the ‘mechanics’ of reproduction, and not enough on the emotional and health sides of sex.
The report also mentions the increasing concerns surrounding the use of pornography.
“The failure to include discussion of pornography is concerning as research shows that children as young as nine are increasingly accessing pornographic internet sites, and ChildLine counsellors have confirmed an increase to more than 50 calls a month from teenagers upset by pornography,” the report says.
The report also calls for better training in sensitive issues such as domestic violence.
If young people don’t have access to the support they need at school, then they may be left in a vulnerable position in the home.
To find out how counselling can help with these issues, please visit our Types of Distress page and browse topics.
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