Teaching menstrual health to be compulsory in schools by 2020

Sex education has been compulsory in England since 2017, but there has been a public consultation about what should be on the curriculum. As a result of this by 2020 it will be compulsory for all pupils to learn about menstrual health and the menstrual cycle and this will start in primary school.

Pupils will also learn about relationships, starting in primary school, and relationships and sex, starting in secondary school. Consent is also to be taught at school and children will learn about domestic violence, relationships and staying safe online. The curriculum will be LGBT inclusive.

Alice Smith, who is 23 years old and was diagnosed with endometriosis when she was 14 called the recent development ‘massive.’ Endometriosis is where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows elsewhere in a woman’s body. It affects one in ten women in the UK and can cause chronic pain, fatigue, bowel and bladder problems, and can lead to infertility.

Alice told BBC news that the developments in the curriculum will create an “open” environment for kids to learn what is and isn’t normal. She said “I probably would have gone to the doctor sooner and pushed harder because I wouldn’t have put up with such horrific periods just thinking that they were normal.’

The new guidelines stipulate that boys will also learn about periods in school and Alice told BBC news that this was also a step forward, saying, ‘”That generation will have language in their vocabulary that we never had.’

Sex education guidance is currently open for consultation in Wales, while in Northern Ireland the Department of Education requires each school to have its own written policy on how it will address the delivery of relationship and sex education.

In Scotland, guidance on sex education was introduced in 2014 – although the curriculum is non-statutory and decisions about which topics are included in the curriculum is a matter for schools and local authorities to decide.

To read the full story go to: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-47350835