Inclusion of LGBTQ+ experiences in social, personal, and health education (SPHE) has long been priority for us at Belong To. It is vital that LGBTQ+ youth are included in the curriculum and equipped with comprehensive, evidence-based information about relationships and wellbeing during their school years.
We are delighted with the publication of a revised draft SPHE and Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) curricula for Junior Cycle students.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is currently seeking feedback on the draft curriculum, which you can review here.
Will you take three minutes to voice your support for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sex, health, and relationship education in second-level schools?
Follow the steps below to show your support for LGBTQ+ inclusion in Junior Cycle SPHE and RSE:
1. Copy the template submission below.
2. Include your name at the end of the submission.
3. Email the template submission to SPHEdevelopments@ncca.ie
4. Share the template submission with your network, and encourage others to email this or their own submission to SPHEdevelopments@ncca.ie
The submission deadline is October 18th, 2022.
Copy and paste the template below or adapt it with your own comments and email it to SPHEdevelopments@ncca.ie
To whom it may concern,
I am pleased to see the development of a new Junior Cycle SPHE-RSE curriculum and welcome this consultation process.
I know that the NCCA is seeking feedback on the draft updated Junior Cycle SPHE specification.
It is vital that LGBTQ+ youth are represented across school curricula, particularly in relation to themes of sexual health, relationships, and wellbeing as covered by SPHE and RSE. According to the 2019 School Climate Survey, including LGBTQ+ related issues in the curriculum means students are 26% more likely to feel accepted by the student body, 20% more like to feel likely they belong at school and 9% less likely to miss days of school due to feeling unsafe.
I would like to see the following points included in the updated curriculum:
- Inclusion of LGBTQ+ Identities
Include LGBTQ+ awareness as a key theme throughout all strands of the curriculum, with special attention to Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) to ensure that LGBTQ+ inclusion and awareness is not limited to a single class dedicated to LGBTQ+ identities.
- Support and Training for SPHE Staff
Invest in training for SPHE teachers so that they feel confident to engage with and respond to students’ questions about topics related to LGBTQ+ identities.
- Adapting the School Community and Environment
Schools should be encouraged to and supported in embedding the values taught in SPHE and RSE to the overall school ethos, community, and environment. It is vital that the creation of ‘inclusive environments’ that are respectful of racial, ethnic, or LGBTQ+ identity is not limited to SPHE class. In addition, policies related to Anti-Bullying, and Dignity and Respect, should be accompanied by clear procedures for students to follow should they feel discriminated against or bullied by a member of the school community.
Thank you for taking the time to consider these points. I look forward to the publication of the final Junior Cycle SPHE-RSE curriculum.
[Insert your name]
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