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Pupils believe sex education lessons would improve child safety

Barnardos said children were clearly telling that they need help in understanding digital dangers

SEX and relationship lessons in school would make all children safer, a survey of young people has found.

Three-quarters of 11 to 15-year-olds believe age-appropriate classes would improve child safety, the poll of almost 1,000 children by Barnardo's found.

Seven in 10 want the British government to ensure all young people have such lessons, while 25 per cent said they had either not been taught in school about sex and relationships or that the classes were bad.

Javed Khan, Barnardo's chief executive, said children had spoken "loud and clear".

"It's time to listen to children who are clearly telling us that they need help in understanding the digital dangers and the risks of sharing images of themselves with strangers.

"Online grooming is a very real danger facing all children and nearly half of the girls polled said they were worried about strangers contacting them online.

"Compulsory SRE lessons for all children must be introduced as soon as possible - it will help prevent children being groomed and sexually exploited."

Maria Miller, chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Committee, said it was "striking" that children were calling on the British government to ensure they receive sex and relationship education and that the case for compulsory lessons had "never been stronger".

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