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Nottingham - Sex education course commended

A Nottingham school's course of specialist sex education lessons for pupils with Asperger syndrome has won recognition from a national charity.

Staff at South Nottingham College developed the 10-week course after realising that their usual sex education programme was not meeting the needs of Asperger pupils.

This month, it was highly commended by the Family Planning Association as part of its annual Pamela Sheridan Award for Excellence in Sex and Relationships Education. The school will receive #163;250 of sex education resources from the FPA.

In a combination of group and one-to-one sessions with pupils, staff outlined the elements that make up positive, healthy relationships, and highlighted the emotional and sexual experiences of people with the syndrome.

Topics covered included acceptable public and private behaviour, as well as internet safety and the inappropriate use of sexualised language.

The aim was to reduce pupils' risk of being exploited or of behaving inappropriately in public. Staff also hoped to raise pupils' self confidence. The course has now become a regular part of the school's curriculum.

Fiona Speirs, who delivered the programme, said: "It has enabled the students to have a more heightened awareness of their own sexuality and the social norms and laws that govern sexual expression with others." AB.

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