Here at ShoutOut we’ve known for a long time about the shortcomings for LGBTQ+ students in the Irish education curriculum. Indeed our very name ‘ShoutOut’ derived from the loud absence LGBTQ+ students faced about their identities in classrooms across the country.
This is not surprising. Some parts of the curriculum have not been updated for two decades. Indeed we continue to hear this message of outdated and unfit for purpose from young people in schools every week.
That’s why ShoutOut loudly welcomes the proposed reforms from the Oireachtas Education Committee on Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in our schools published last week.
The report recommends that in the new programme, both secondary and primary school children would be taught about “LGBT specific sexual health issues and the presentation of LGBT relationships without distinction as to their heterosexual counterparts.” About time.
Interestingly external providers of sex education in schools should be regulated and accredited by the HSE and the Department of Education. This is “to ensure consistency and accuracy of information to students.” While ShoutOut does not focus on sex education we are very pleased to know that those who do opine on this topic must soon be qualified to do so.
These are important and welcome reforms. We thank the Committee and we look forward to continuing to work with the National Council on Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) as we have done previously so that our mission to make every school on the island of Ireland a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ youth becomes a reality.