Health and Safety Executive ends Brunei project over gay sex law

 A newlywed couple have their photographs taken at the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images The government’s official health and safety organisation has said it will stop planned staff secondments to Brunei after unions raised concerns about the ethical and safety implications following the kingdom’s decision to punish gay sex by stoning to death. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which was seeking a team of three people to go to Brunei to help the country’s equivalent agency with regulatory work, said all links with the country…

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Education Department unaware hundreds child sex offenders

The Department of Education has been unaware of a large number of child sex offenders attending schools in Western Australia. ‘Hundreds’ of children aged between 10 and 17 years have slipped under the radar of ministers, who called an urgent meeting to discuss the risk in March. According to documents obtained by WA Today, it is ‘likely there are offenders in schools unknown to the school or department administration and therefore no risk management or support is in place.’ Department of Education are reportedly unaware of ‘hundreds’ of child sex…

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Poll finds majority of schoolchildren want sex education

Three-quarters of children between the ages of 11 and 15 believe they would be safer if they had age-appropriate sex and relationship education (SRE) in school, according to a survey by a leading children’s charity. Seven in 10 of the children who took part in the poll, which was commissioned by Barnardo’s and carried out by YouGov, said the government should ensure that all pupils have SRE lessons, and 14% said they had not received any SRE lessons in school at all. It is thought to be the first time…

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Senior MPs call for compulsory sex education

The chairmen and women of five Commons select committees have written to Education Secretary Justine Greening, urging her to make sex education a statutory subject in England’s schools. They are also calling for Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) to be a compulsory subject. Currently schools are not legally required to teach these subjects, but the majority do. Ministers says schools do not need “additional central prescription”. The Department for Education says it is “unnecessary to provide new standardised frameworks”, saying teachers are “best placed to understand the needs…

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Pressure mounts on ministers to make sex education compulsory in schools

Pressure is mounting on the government to introduce compulsory sex and relationships education (SRE) in schools after five chairs of parliamentary select committees sent a strongly worded letter to the education secretary demanding a change in policy. The letter criticises the government’s “lacklustre” response earlier this week to a new report by the women and equalities committee in parliament, which revealed that sexual abuse of girls had become “accepted as part of everyday life” in England’s schools. One of the report’s key recommendations, which the government sidestepped, was that personal,…

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‘Sex’ out of sex education

One word (and its derivatives) must be taboo for any policy document on sex education for teens, the NDA government believes. That word is “sex”. The human resource development ministry has forced an expert panel to condense its recommendations on adolescent education to just one sentence because the original draft mentioned the word “sexual” twice. The final document was submitted in May this year, when Smriti Irani headed the ministry. The BJP has always been cagey about the adolescent education programme since its introduction in schools. A 2009 report by…

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