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Pupils to face 'rape' lessons at 11


Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the lessons should prepare girls for life in modern Britain

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the lessons should prepare girls for life in modern Britain

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the lessons should prepare girls for life in modern Britain

Pupils are to be taught about the difference between rape and consensual sex from the age of 11 to prepare them for life in modern Britain.

The lessons, which could come in soon after the Easter holidays, will be based on a series of resources being developed by the PSHE Association, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said.

Writing in The Sunday Times to mark International Women's Day, the Tory frontbencher said: " We have to face the fact that many pressures girls face today were unimaginable to my generation and it's our duty to ensure that our daughters leave school able to navigate the challenges and choices they'll face in adulthood.

"Our commitment to supporting women should start long before they take home their first wage. We have to ensure that the education girls receive not only allows them to reach their academic potential, but also prepares them for life in modern Britain."

The recommended materials, which she has stressed will be age appropriate, are aimed at giving teachers more confidence and better guidance to teach difficult subjects.

According to The Sunday Times, they include telling pupils that agreeing to have sex once does not constitute consent to do so repeatedly and that going upstairs or kissing is not tacit agreement to intercourse.

They also challenge any narrow view of rape and explain that most attacks are committed by a person known to the victim.

In addition they look at why he/she got drunk with me is not an excuse for assuming consent and the issue of gay rape.

Drop boxes will also be placed in classrooms so pupils can post questions anonymously.

Mrs Morgan, who has a seven-year-old son, has said any materials used will have to be approved and that the recommended list of resources will be issued to schools to ensure information is not "at odds with fundamental British values".

The PSHE Association said Mrs Morgan should have made sex and relationships education compulsory, as recommended by the Education Select Committee last month.

The committee called for PSHE to be given statutory status in all of England's state primary and secondary schools to ensure that enough lesson time is devoted to the subject and teachers are properly trained.

PSHE Association chief executive Joe Hayman said: "While Government support for our work is welcome, this alone is inadequate. In not acting on the Education Select Committee recommendations, the Government is missing a crucial opportunity to ensure that all children receive education to keep themselves safe and healthy.

"It is particularly concerning that the Government has also failed to listen to the victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham who were, according to the Jay report, 'scathing' about the education they received on this area.

"We need the Government to commit to making PSHE statutory now to ensure that children are not let down in this way again."

Sarah Green, acting director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: "We welcome Nicky Morgan's recognition of the importance and urgency of ensuring young people learn in school about what seeking and giving consent means, and how adults who respect each other treat each other.

"Because we share these concerns, and alarm at the enormous prevalence of violence against women and girls in our society, we are very disappointed that the Education Secretary has not moved to make sex and relationships education compulsory.

"When we know there is a lack of knowledge and training on how to deliver such teaching, it is inadequate to leave the decisions about whether to teach about consent and relationships to schools who face many other day to day pressures."