As part of its developing advocacy strategy, GB Ministries has submitted a response to the UK Government’s Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) consultation.
The Department for Education’s existing sex and relationship guidance was last updated in 2000 and over the past two months, it has been facilitating a public consultation about proposed changes.
Dr Claire Rush, GB’s Advocacy Co-ordinator, explains why it is important for GB to respond. She says ‘A poll of young people by the Centre of Social Justice found that almost three quarters (72%) of young people aged 14-17 wanted relationship education to help them understand how to build long term, lasting relationships as an adult. In fact, a long term, lasting relationship in adult life is important or very important to 77% of teenagers. Relationship education needs to equip young people with the understanding and skills to develop these relationships.’
Over the past few years, research has also revealed the increase of sexual harassment among school children, and the negative impact of sexting and pornography as well as the importance of teaching consent.
A number of volunteer leaders including teachers, an educational psychologist and a mental nurse contributed to GB’s response. Stacey Cripps, Team Leader of 5th Bradford GB and a primary teacher, shares ‘I feel it's important that GB responds to this as we work with 21st century girls with 21st century issues and we're often their "safe" adult. If we're to support these girls in their journey to becoming confident, self-loving young women we need to ensure they're equipped with the right information for today's world.’
In many ways, GB is also informally equipping girls and young women with positive RSE skills and awareness in a number of ways:
On Wednesday, Girlguiding released its annual Girls’ Attitudes survey. The biggest survey of its kind in the UK, it asked the opinions of just under 2,000 girls and young women aged 7 to 21 (not just members of Girlguiding). As it gives us an insight about how girls feel about a range of issues, emerging pressures and what they need to support their happiness, wellbeing and opportunities in life, it’s important that we listen to their voices.
Leaders from 1st Yorkshire GB District recently enjoyed a retreat day in Bakewell, led by GBM’s Discipleship Co-ordinator Charlotte Hendy.
In January 2017 a group of members from the West London Gym team decided to form the West London Youth Network (WLYN) to enable the older members of GB and Boys’ Brigade (BB) to remain both involved and engaged despite moving on to university or work.Read more