'Consent' to be Included in Updated Sex Education Modules in England

'Consent' to be Included in Updated Sex Education Modules in England

Rape culture has been a huge point of discussion over the past couple of years. And since the #MeToo movement, consent has become more of a focus when it comes to conversations on sex. Now, the Department of Education in England has announced that their secondary level sex education modules will roll out updates this week to include lessons on consent.

The Guardian reports that this means discussions on "what consent means, how to both give it and recognize it in others, as well as the laws around sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, harassment and domestic abuse." These will also be taught to primary and middle schoolers at a more age-appropriate capacity through teachings on peer pressure, and allowing kids to understand that consent cannot be forced and is something that can be withdrawn. The Department of Education emphasizes that this is applicable both online and offline.

English DepEd secretary Damian Hinds tells The Guardian, "It's vital that every child knows about their rights and that nothing should happen to them without their consent." He adds, "This new guidance will ensure lessons teach children and young people how to recognize when someone else has not given consent and more importantly why they should not to put pressure on someone else to do something they don't want to."​

This sex ed update — which will be taught in all "academies, maintained schools, and independent schools" — is the first England has had since 2000, and is also the first since the country made sex ed mandatory in March 2017.

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