Dear Little Ukations*,
*(My two children under 5)I am so so sorry that this government does not care about your personal well being as much as I do. I’m sorry that after 20months of “reviewing” the PSHE review concluded it was fine as it is despite all of the evidence to the contrary shouting and screaming that it really wasn’t and something must be done. I’m sorry that the new draft science curriculum has removed mention of puberty and seems to be a regression to rabbit reproduction and the like, believe me I am currently doing everything I can to make this draft not end up a final document.
I am so sorry that this government thinks that a piece of guidance written in 2000 before Section 28 was repealed and before Civil Partnerships were bought in is still relevant today in 2013. This is a document which states “”It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching.” as well as expecting teachers to cover “the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life” with no mention of civil partnerships etc. It is a document that does not make adequate reference to homophobia, transphobia, gendered harrassment, sexting, FGM, Body image, self esteem, pornography, consent, sexual bullying, domestic violence despite these being issues that many schools are identifying as affecting their pupils and schools are desperate for support and guidance on these issues. I’m so sorry that they are getting it so wrong for you.
I’m sorry that this government ignores the voice of young people and I’m sorry that you may go to a school which doesn’t view PSHE as a vital subject essential to your future happiness and wellbeing simply because the government will not give the subject the status it deserves. (I am pleased however consent will be addressed as part of PSHE and I really hope that you will grow up happy, resilient, safe individuals however your PSHE education in school turns out.)
I hope with me as your mum you will turn out okay in these areas but likewise I am aware that as your mum in some ways I am not necessarily the best person to teach you, as you absolutely should have a right to learn about this stuff from someone other than a parent as you go grow older. As an adolescent particularly I want you to have access to impartial support and guidance and confidential medical services should you ever need. I will do my best to support any school you go to with their PSHE provsion, not just for your benefit but for your friend who might be gay, your friend who was assaulted, your friend with low self esteem, your friend who thinks they might be pregnant, your friend who is getting themselves into issues with substances, your friend who can’t cope.
For you, your friends, for all young people I will always fight for you to have the best PSHE Education I possibly can.
I love you.
Love Your Very Ranty and Currently Very Angry Mum typing furiously on her laptop whilst you are fast asleep.