Combine specialist sex education workers

25th July 2008 at 01:00

I agree with the British Medical Association that the teaching of sex and relationships education is inconsistent throughout Scotland ("Doctors' plea to teachers", TESS July 18).

There is a lack of priority for it in the curriculum, a lack of understanding of what it entails and for some schools a lack of effective consultation with parents.

This has led to a cautious approach and a lack of confidence in this area.

Specialist teachers, working with external people such as school nurses and health promotion staff, would be a strong combination and reinforce the quality of teaching.

However, schools should integrate the external professionals in the planning process and avoid wheeling them in for a one-off "slot", then back out again.

Yes, start at an early age, but focus on body image, body changes and friendship.

Joan Forrest, senior lecturer in health promotion, faculty of education, University of Strathclyde.

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