Our latest guest blog is from Hannah, a pupil at a local secondary school, who was unhappy with the SRE education she was getting so took it upon herself to make changes!
In this blog she shares her passion and motivation for getting involved in the #SREnow campaign.
Now, I can’t talk for every school but I know that I certainly didn’t feel enlightened walking out of that class, but I didn’t think much of it until I watched a documentary called ‘Asking for it?’. It’s about a young woman being raped by a man she knew, whilst she was asleep. This shocked me as I had never come across a case of rape where the victim was asleep, and all I could think about was, what else don’t I know? I started talking to my friends from other schools, asking how their SRE lessons were and even though some of them had more frequent lessons than others, they all told me that they wanted to be taught about SRE but just didn’t enjoy the lessons they were getting. I found this really sad because I strongly believe that it’s one of the most important subjects that should be taught in schools today.
I decided I would do something about it – I applied to be on the Bristol City Youth Council with a manifesto campaigning for compulsory SRE and more lessons on bullying, amazingly I got in! This led to me meeting likeminded people and starting a campaign group called ‘Education 4 Life’ all about getting alternative subjects taught in schools, like SRE. Then an extraordinary thing happened, the government announced that SRE would be made compulsory by September 2018! I was so happy that day my twitter feed exploded with retweet’s every 10 seconds. But of course the work didn’t stop there, I still had to make sure that SRE was taught until it became compulsory. The next week I asked my head of SRE what the arrangements were and she told me that we could start a 20 minute lesson once a week during tutor time, obviously this wasn’t nearly enough time but we had to work with it. I went home and made lesson plans for the next couple of terms and I can happily say that those lessons still continue today.
So what now? Well, I know that time and time again SRE is being replaced by extra science or maths lessons, when it’s an equally important subject that teaches young people about situations and things that will apply to all of them at one point in their lives. School is not only about gaining knowledge from a textbook but also understanding what happens in the world around us and how to act in different situations. According to Terrance Higgins Trust 99% of young people think SRE should be taught in all schools, which just shows how much we do want to be taught about sex and relationships but that we are switched off in class not because of what’s being taught but how it’s being taught, if it’s even taught at all.
So, any young person who is reading this and is passionate about SRE too, I encourage you to speak to your head of SRE and see what you can do to get it taught well in your school. Anyone can do it, you don’t need to belong to a youth council or organisation to care about what’s being done about SRE.
To bring positive change you have to speak out for what you believe in!