Post-16 sex education: the power of student mentors

Statutory sex education comes to an end at 16 – but young people beyond that age still need support around sex and forming healthy relationships, argue Tracy Oko and Kate Reed. They explain how their sixth-form college has partnered with a local NHS service to train students to mentor their peers

Student mentors help to educate

Considering the fact that students arriving at college are often sexually active and entering into relationships for the first time, it seems rather odd that statutory sex education comes to an abrupt stop at the age of 16. While education before a young person becomes sexually active is, of course, important, ongoing advice and support is needed for those who are aged 16 and over to develop their understanding of healthy relationships and sex.

At Newham Sixth Form College in East London, our sex education work covers multiple areas. For example, one focus has been sexting: we took a close ...

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