Children as young as four will get ‘consent lessons’ to counter soaring number of sex assault cases, online porn and sexting in schools
- New relationship classes set to be rolled out in primary schools across England
- Secondary pupils will study consent and the laws on sexual abuse and grooming
- Pupils to be taught how to deal with online and real life peer pressure
Pupils as young as four are to have ‘consent classes’ to counter soaring sexual assault cases in schools and the exposure of children to online pornography and sexting.
Boys and girls in primary schools across England will be taught about respecting and enforcing ‘boundaries’ as part of new relationships classes.
Secondary pupils will study consent and the laws on sexual abuse, grooming, domestic violence and harassment, the Sunday Times reported.
Children as young as four will receive classes on consent to counter soaring sexual assault cases
Children will learn the ‘building blocks’ and then ‘concepts’ of consent in an age-appropriate way, the Department for Education said. They include how to ‘ask and get permission in relationships with friends, peers and adults’ and that consent can ‘be withdrawn’.
Education secretary Damian Hinds said it’s vital that every child knows their rights
Pupils will also be taught how to deal with peer pressure to do things they don’t want to do, either online — where they can face pressure to text naked photos to classmates — or in the real world.
Last year police figures revealed almost 30,000 reports of children sexually assaulting other youngsters over a four-year period, including 2,625 alleged attacks on school premises and 225 rapes.
The education secretary, Damian Hinds, said: ‘It’s vital that every child knows about their rights and that nothing should happen to them without their consent. This guidance will ensure lessons teach children how to recognise when someone else has not given consent.’
The classes form part of a sex and relationship guidance updated for the first time since 2000. A consultation on the revamped guidance will be launched this week.