Relationships and Sex Education

Why campaign?

Are you, like us, frustrated that as a country we have been unable to provide our young people with the information and skills that will enable them to develop rewarding and healthy long term relationships? – Information and skills that families of every type need to successfully bring up the next generation.


UK governments have proved unable or unwilling to establish a mandatory core curriculum for relationships education. For at least two generations, we have had the worst sexual health in Western Europe. Though we have recently seen encouraging falls in teenage pregnancy rates, they remain the highest in Western Europe, as do the youth rates of sexually transmitted infections, which appear still to be rising.

Solutions are not simple - there are very few school-based sexual health curricula in the world that have demonstrated a positive impact on sexual behaviour and health outcomes. We have spent 30 years developing and improving one of these, the Apause programme, which is the only programme in the UK to have been shown to achieve this. Recent developments have reduced the cost of Apause more than tenfold in recent years; it is now easily affordable with a once only cost and may be even more effective.

Apause stands for Added Power and Understanding in Sex education. It may be regarded as conservative (with a small c!) as it concentrates on helping teenagers manage their relationships. For example, it helps them resist pressures to engage in unwanted sexual activity and resist pressure not to bother with condoms when they do. This approach contrasts with most initiatives that governments have supported.

Their emphasis has not been on primary prevention and promoting healthy relationships but on secondary prevention. Funding has made emergency and other contraception, sexual health advice and abortion easier to obtain through more accessible sexual health clinics in schools and communities; also prevention of educational and economic disadvantage suffered by girls experiencing a teenage pregnancy.

Governments have recently expected schools to teach SRE, but appear unwilling to encourage them to use the tools that will enable them to do so with any hope of enabling healthier behaviours. They seem anxious about causing offence to parents whilst ignoring numerous surveys demonstrating that parents do actually want responsible SRE in their children's schools. Similarly most religious leaders acknowledge the importance of sex and relationships education, though are sometimes wary of its content.

WHY bother? –

Because trial and error is not good enough

Unrewarding relationships, poor sexual health and unstable families are a major source of mental health issues, low academic attainment, unemployment and long-term societal inequalities. Pre-sixteen education is the only level playing field where all young people have an opportunity to learn about healthy relationships. Without SRE some young people get through by trial and error, but failure to plan results in costly errors and long term disadvantage.

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Why do the charity and its projects exist? See Notes from the Doctor

Can we fix it between us all?

Yes YOU can help us! For example:

A small donation will help a school to start using the programme donate

You and some other parents or grandparents could do a little fundraising to help your school

Parent Teacher Associations and Governors can ask schools about what they are doing for their children

We would love schools to check us out for evaluation, advice, or our resources and training.  Contact us  

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Find YOUR link to see how everyone can help!