Teachers need support from their superiors to address issues in Sex & Relationships Education (SRE) created by pornography according to new guidance.
PSHE Association’s guidance aims to help teachers to support young people’s understanding of the difference between positive and negative relationships and how pornography may distort their view of normal body image and sexual relationships.
A spokesperson for the association told Central Lobby:
“All teachers have to follow school policies, so they must ensure that their school policies give scope for this issue to be addressed."
“Speak to your head and your governors, and get parents on board."
“Most are very supportive and realise we need to cover these issues.”
The spokesperson said that association has been contacted by members looking for guidance about how to address the increasing exposure to pornography of under-18s.
“We were hearing from a lot of teachers who wanted to know how to deal with this issue and there is nothing really out there supporting teachers,” she said.
“It fell to us to fill that gap. The most important thing is that you do not go near the subject of pornography unless you are already providing robust SRE and have trained and confident teachers delivering the basics of the curriculum- healthy relationships, STIs, contraception, and safer sex.”
“Work to what your students need, what the issues are for them?"
“It is very likely that sexualised media including pornography and sexting will come up as issues affecting your young people, and then develop your curriculum to address your students’ needs and concerns.”
The PSHE Association believes that PSHE education - including SRE - should be a statutory entitlement for all students and they back a recent suggestion from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) policy adviser Siôn Humphreys that schools should help students to understand the impact of pornography.
Mr Humphreys told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme that children are growing up in “an overtly sexualised world that includes easy access to porn and they need the skills to deal with it”.