STIs, HIV and AIDS to be given a place in the new secondary science curriculum

STIs, HIV and AIDS to be given a place in the new secondary science curriculum

The Sex Education Forum, hosted by leading children's charity the National Children's Bureau, today welcomes the addition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and AIDS to the revised draft National Curriculum for science (Key Stage 4) in secondary schools. This will help make it clear to schools that every pupil must leave secondary school equipped with knowledge about STIs and specifically about HIV and AIDS.

However, the Sex Education Forum warns that learning about STIs must not be left to the final years of secondary school, and will only be effective if it builds on earlier learning about how our bodies work, and crucially about relationships. Having sex and relationships education (SRE) in every year of school helps children build up the understanding needed for good sexual health, and ensures that children learn about stigma and challenging prejudice as well as the biological aspects of the transmission, prevention and treatment of STIs including HIV.

The Chair of the Sex Education Forum, Jane Lees said:

“The curriculum for Key Stage 4 science proposed earlier this year had no reference to sexual health, HIV or AIDS. It is very encouraging that calls from the Sex Education Forum and others have been heeded and the Department for Education has made this important change. Our survey with young people[1] showed that 1 in 4 had not learnt anything about this topic at school. There is an urgent need to remedy this situation and this move by the Department for Education will help. We will continue to campaign for action to make the broader subject of SRE statutory in all schools ”.

For more information please contact the National Children's Bureau's media office on 0207 843 6045 / 47 or email For urgent enquiries out of office hours call 07721 097 033.


About the Sex Education Forum
The Sex Education Forum is the national authority on sex and relationships education (SRE). We believe that good quality SRE is an entitlement for all children and young people and we are working with our member organisations - including religious, children's, parents, health and education organisations - to achieve this. For further information visit:


About the National Children's Bureau
The National Children's Bureau (NCB) is a leading charity that for 50 years has been improving the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. We work with children and for children, to influence government policy, be a strong voice for young people and practitioners, and provide creative solutions on a range of social issues. For more information visit

[1] Sex Education Forum (2011) Young people’s experiences of HIV and AIDS education


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