Less than 15 per cent of schools using Government-funded programme on sexual education

Source: 1News

Teaching kids about consent still isn't compulsory for schools and the Ministry of Education has no idea which children are and aren't being taught it.

Less than 15 per cent of schools are using a Government funded programme on sexual education.

Advocates say that's simply not good enough.

“Theoretically, the programme is nationally available to all young people of secondary school age in Aotearoa," RespectEd chief executive Fiona McNamara told 1 NEWS.

“But in practice it’s not reaching all of those young people, it’s extremely concerning".

Consent falls under the "healthy relationships" part of the national curriculum but is only a suggested topic.

“It's everybody's role in society to make sure we're having this discussion with our young people, I’m confident that schools understand the expectation of them that we've provided,” Ministry of Education’s Pauline Cleaver said.

It’s been a key part of learning for students at Heretaunga College in Upper Hutt.

“It sets the foundation for when we get to our older years,” one student said.

Mary Butler, a consent education advocate and sexual assault survivor, said making consent education compulsory is a no-brainer.

“If someone doesn’t realise they’re committing a crime it’s going to continue happening and if someone doesn’t know that a crime has been committed against them they can’t do much about it."