Camden reduces school pupils’ sex education

Council-funded sexual health coordinator loses funding

PUPILS at Camden secondary schools are to have their sex education reduced after the council decided to cut its sexual health coordinator.

Camden Council and Islington PCT have funded the coordinator for the past ten years to work with local sexual health clinic workers and pupils in secondary schools.

But they are now halting funding in order to cut costs.

The council says it will continue to work on sex and relationship education (SRE) and preventing teenage pregnancy with a “focus on at risk groups”.

But Lisa Power, policy director at HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, says the council appears to be restricting sex education to those at greatest risk.

“Every teenager who is sexually active, or who is influenced by peers who are, should be considered at risk,” she said.

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“Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia are rife among 16-24 year olds and not restricted to special groups.

“Every teenager deserves a proper education about sex and relationships, not only so they can conduct their own future lives in a healthy manner, but also to dispel ignorance around issues like HIV.

“Reducing sex and relationships education is a false economy in both financial and public health terms.”

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: “Schools will continue to teach SRE and make links with local sexual health clinics and Camden will still offer advice and training to schools on SRE as part of its support service on health and well being.

“Young people’s sexual health and education continues to be of great importance and the Council will continue to support schools to ensure our most vulnerable and at risk groups receive the advice they need.”