Comhairle na nÓg 31 youth councils across the country
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Review of the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) programme in schools

National Consultation: 13th March 2019, Department of Children & Youth Affairs

The Minister for Education has asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) to review the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) programme, which is part of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) in both primary and post-primary schools. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) advises the Minister for Education and Skills about curriculum (what is taught in schools) and assessment (how to collect evidence about what students have learnt). The NCCA want to hear the views of young people as to how RSE could be made better.

This consultation event was an important part of the process and the NCCA will use the ideas and suggestions gathered to inform a final report. The report will advise the Minister for Education and Skills on changes that are needed so that RSE can be improved and better meets the needs of students. You can read the findings from the day’s discussions below.

RSE consultation report with Comhairle members March 2019


Comhairle members sit on Advisory Committee: 30th Jan and 19th Feb 2019

An Advisory Committee was set up by DCYA and NCCA to support and inform the development of the forthcoming national consultation on the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) programme in schools. The committee was made up of Comhairle members from Cork County and Westmeath as they had been working on this topic for the previous two years. In the lead-up to the consultation, the advisory committee meet on two occasions to develop the consultation methodology and recruitment. They will give a short input on the day about the process they were involved in, and will be responsible for co-facilitating the workshop tables.


NEWS: Comhairle members have their say in review of RSE in schools
On Tues. 27th November three members of the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive, Alicia O’Sullivan, Cork County; Aaron Hackett, Kildare and Caoilfhinn Ní Choiligh, Westmeath, participated in a consultation symposium hosted by the NCCA, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the topic of which was the review of the teaching of RSE in schools. This review is being undertaken by the NCCA and they were keen to consult with young people in relation to it.

Alicia O’Sullivan gave a presentation on the day about her Comhairle’s topic of Relationships and Sexual Health which they have been working on since 2017. This took the form of an advocacy campaign for quality sexual education and taking action for more effective content and delivery of this subject through the school curriculum. She also discussed her own experience of the teaching of RSE in her school and referred specifically to issues such as STIs and consent as well as sex education for the LGBTI+ community. Research carried out by the Comhairle showed that young people felt very strongly that every student in Ireland has the right to receive a comprehensive sexual education. Their findings also showed that 82% of Irish students felt their sex ed was insufficient. Alicia ended her presentation by asking the following question to the room: ‘how do we make this a shared priority and instigate it in modern Ireland?’