Republic of Ireland news

Consent to become priority issue in Republic's sex education shake-up

Education minister Richard Bruton has initiated a comprehensive review following calls for the principle to be a central part of that section of the curriculum

CONSENT is to become a priority issue in the Republic's biggest shake-up of sex education for secondary school pupils in more than two decades.

Education minister Richard Bruton has initiated a comprehensive review following calls for the principle to be a central part of that section of the curriculum.

During the angry protests in the wake of the Ulster Rugby rape trial, demonstrators made the issue of consent a key issue in their calls for changes to the justice system.

Sinn Féin education spokeswoman Kathleen Funchion welcomed the review which will be carried out by the NCCA.

"Things have changed substantially since the 1990s in Ireland and this needs to be reflected in our children's education," she said.

"It is important that our children are all taught about consent from a young age now that we have a legal definition of consent as a framework.

"Boys and girls, men and women need to understand consent as both genders give and receive consent."

Personal rights and negotiating sexual relationships already form part of the sex education curriculum in the south.

It is envisaged that there will be a renewed focus on the importance of consent and what it means.

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