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Calls for sex education... but 27% find it unhelpful

By Kate Ferguson

More than eight in 10 Britons think sex and relationship education (SRE) should be compulsory in schools, according to research.

The finding comes as the Government faces increasing calls for the classes to be mandatory amid growing evidence young people are facing widespread sexual harassment and abuse.

Research commissioned by the charity Plan International UK found 85% of those polled think SRE should be mandatory in state schools, 84% believe it should be compulsory at academies and free schools, 83% believe it should be compulsory in private schools and 82% felt it should be in faith schools. The survey of 2,007 adults, by Opinium, also found that out of those who received sex education, just 27% found it was informative.

Plan International chief Tanya Barron said: "Girls are telling us they are suffering harassment at school, they don't feel safe online and are scared on the street. They are telling us unequivocally that mandatory and good-quality sex and relationships education is one of the most important ways to help change this situation."

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