Deborah Jack, Chief Executive, NAT (National AIDS Trust) said: "NAT (National AIDS Trust) is deeply disappointed that the Government have opted to remove sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from the national curriculum for Science in key stage 3, as outlined in its final national curriculum framework document released 11 Sept.
"To date Science was the only place that young people in every school were taught about HIV and sexual health. To remove STIs from this statutory lesson will be a fundamental set back to the provision of basic sexual health information for young people and this is detrimental to their chances of achieving good sexual health.
"Whilst we welcome the framework’s emphasis that schools have a responsibility to provide sex and relationship education, it remains the case that the subject through which the Government proposes it should be delivered, PSHE, remains non-statutory so schools can opt out. Therefore the inclusion of HIV in the compulsory national curriculum for Science remains vital.
"Teaching about STIs in the national curriculum for Science, as distinct from PSHE, gives young people a strong scientific, factual understanding of HIV transmission and is vital to ensuring an accurate and consistent provision of HIV education.
"To omit sexual health from Science is in stark contrast to the ambitions set out in the Sexual Health Improvement Framework which states that young people should ‘receive good quality sex and relationship education at home, at school and in the community’.