Three quarters (74%) believe all children would be safer if they had age-appropriate classes on the subject, says a new poll of 11-15 year olds for Barnardo’s.
The results support calls by the children’s charity for the government to introduce compulsory age appropriate sex and relationships education through the Children and Social Work Bill. Barnardo’s wants MPs to put pressure on the government to make the change while the Bill is debated in the Commons.
More than 9 in 10 children surveyed online (96%) said it was important for them to understand the dangers of being online so they can stay safe. While 94 per cent said they wanted to know the risks of sharing images of themselves with a stranger online, according to the YouGov poll of nearly 1,000 youngsters.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said: “The overwhelming majority of children who answered our poll believe they would be safer if they had age appropriate sex and relationships lessons in school.
Last year, more than 47,000 sexual offences against children were recorded in the UK. We must make sure that all children and young people receive high quality, age-appropriate sex and relationship education. This will give them the skills and resilience needed to help keep themselves safe from sexual violence, sexual bullying and harmful sexual content online, including pornography.
Barnardo's is a British charity founded by Thomas John Barnardo in 1866, to care for vulnerable children and young people. As of 2013, it raised and spent around £200 million each year running around 900 local services, aimed at helping these same groups. It is the UK's largest children's charity, in terms of charitable expenditure. Its headquarters are in Barkingside in the London Borough of Redbridge.