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10.40 18 Dec 2018


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The teaching of gay, lesbian and transgender relationships could take place in Irish schools under draft recommendations.

The proposals are contained in a draft report from the Oireachtas Education Committee.

It calls for a radical overhaul of how sex education is taught in both primary and secondary schools.

Under the plans, both secondary and primary school children would be taught about gay, lesbian and transgender relationships "without distinction as to their heterosexual counterparts".

It also recommends changing legislation to ensure all schools, including those owned by the Catholic Church, are required to teach the new sex education programme.

The report, which has been seen by the Irish Independent, calls for the current curriculum to be updated to take into account significant changes in Irish society.

Philip Ryan is the deputy political editor of Independent Newspapers.

He told Pat Kenny it is about tackling modern issues that children face.

"The report is trying to bring the sex education system kicking and screaming into the current climate, into where we are, and take into account the huge social change that has happened in Ireland over the years".

File photo

"We've seen the marriage equality legislation enacted, we've seen gender recognition being brought before the Dáil as well - and it's felt that some of the current teaching in a lot of schools on sexual education is pretty ad-hoc.

"A lot of it is left to the schools themselves.

"There's requirements to teach things to do with bodies, to do with sexually transmitted diseases and to do with contraception.

"But the onus and regulation around what you actually teach can differ widely between schools".

"If this stuff is introduced, teachers would be required to go very in-depth into some of the various strands of relationships and sexuality that are now commonplace".

The spectrum of LGBT+ would be tackled in secondary schools.

"I think they want to move beyond just saying 'these are the issues', they want to point out possibly the interactions between people of these sexualities, they want to talk about what you do if you decide or if you feel that you're not in the right body, if you have body dysmorphia issues.

"And the other aspect is putting away the various different sexualities.... This year, in the last two years, they've been huge world-wide about consent between men and women and sex - and they want a clearer programme on that".

"You will be required to do it, inspectors will come along and inspect (and) make sure you're doing it".


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