Minister pledges  up-skill  boost in sex education

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

The Minister for Education Norma Foley has announced her intention to provide funding for a new postgraduate programme to up-skill registered post-primary teachers teaching social, personal and health education, relationships and sexuality education (SPHE/RSE).

The aim is to provide a pathway for post-primary teachers interested in developing their skills in teaching these subjects and to build capacity and leadership within the teaching profession in relation to the teaching of SPHE/RSE.

Minister Foley said: “The complexity of the role of the SPHE/RSE teacher and the range of sensitive topics addressed within the SPHE/RSE classroom has implications for teacher professional development. Curricular changes at both Junior and Senior Cycle level are imminent and will require enhanced teacher competency to successfully implement these curricular changes.

“Wider government policy and societal changes have highlighted the need to build teacher capacity so that teachers can work collaboratively and confidently in schools to provide effective SPHE (including RSE), so that children and young people can be supported in better managing change in their life.”

The learning for participants will be grounded in an approach that affirms the right of children and young people to a comprehensive and inclusive SPHE/RSE that is inclusive of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities, religious beliefs, social classes and abilities/disabilities.

“Effective SPHE/RSE teaching requires content knowledge and pedagogical skills specific to SPHE/RSE. It requires teachers, having the personal dispositions and competencies needed to teach all topics within the curriculum with confidence and competence.

“High levels of self-awareness, emotional regulation, personal and professional reflection and skills for facilitation are essential”, Minister Foley added.

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