With recent attacks on transgender young people in particular, we must ensure that PSE reflects the life of every young person and makes them feel included and valued.Ross Greer MSP
Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, will today (15 Nov) use a Holyrood debate to urge Scottish Ministers to ensure that essential topics such as the consent principle in sex and relationships education, and mental health education, are delivered to every young person.
He will say that these topics can help address the challenges of sexual harassment, rape culture and the steep rise in young people suffering from poor mental health.
Today's debate is in response to two committee inquiries into bullying in schools and provision of Personal & Social Education (PSE), which covers mental health and relationships. Mr Greer has consistently raised the issue of PSE since being elected in May last year, including securing the committee report which prompted today's debate.
The Scottish Young Greens have recently launched a ‘Healthy Minds Healthy Students’ campaign, calling for the government to guarantee quality mental health education for all young people in Scotland and improved transition services for those moving from school to college or university.
Ross Greer MSP said:
"PSE is a crucial component of every young person's education, helping them with everything from relationships to their mental health. Yet our investigation found that it’s been treated as an afterthought and the guidance on how to deliver it is often dated, lacking or sometimes teachers simply aren’t aware it exists. The evidence that huge numbers of young people are receiving sex education without being taught about consent is reason enough for the government to take action.
"Today is a chance for Scottish Ministers to commit to a revamp the PSE curriculum through the recently announced review, enabling young people to co-design it to reflect their lives. This should ensure a broader range of issues such as personal financial management, rights at work and critically important LGBTI*-inclusive sex and relationships education are covered consistently. With recent attacks on transgender young people in particular, we must ensure that PSE reflects the life of every young person and makes them feel included and valued.
"Along with these changes, we must see teachers given the time they need to access professional development courses on PSE, and given resources to bring in external organisations to support them."