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24 November 2008

Children’s charity calls for school sexual health advice to age 18

A report from the National Children's Bureau (NCB) has called for every 11 to 18-year-old in England to able to receive advice on contraception, pregnancy tests and screening for sexually transmitted diseases at school, and compulsory sex education.

The NCB says existing provision is patchy, with only a quarter of secondary schools providing the full range of services. Three-quarters of further education and sixth-form colleges contain sexual health clinics, but experts suggest numbers should be higher.

In October, the Government confirmed sex and relationships education would become compulsory in primary schools.

In two reports, the NCB mapped the number of on-site sexual health clinics in the education sector. It found only 11.4 per cent of secondary schools in London had a clinic offering basic services such as free contraception - but numbers grew to forty per cent in the North West. The survey found 17 Anglican and Roman Catholic faith schools had sexual health clinics. The authors said that the Government’s decision to raise the school leaving age to 18 meant students could receive healthcare advice for longer.

Also in the UK press: an in-depth article by Alice Thomson in The Times discusses the Dutch approach to sex education.

Every secondary school should have sex clinic on site, says charity. Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2008