Conduct of relationships, sexual health and parenthood education in schools

Guidance for teachers on the conduct of teaching relationships, sexual health and parenthood education within the Curriculum for Excellence.


1. Scotland, as part of the UK, is party to the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ( ICESCR), which the UK ratified in 1976. Article 13 of ICESCR sets out the right of everyone to education, and emphasises that "education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms… shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations ( UN) for the maintenance of peace."

2. United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment Number 3: HIV/ AIDS and the rights of the child, Paragraph 16, January 2003

3. (Paragraph 176)

4. National Guidance - Under Age Sexual Activity: Meeting the Needs of Children and Young People and Identifying Child Protection Concerns.

5. Similar language is used in the Equality and Human Rights Commission's guidance for England and Wales - The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013: Provision of School Education. Similar language is found in the draft guidance for Scotland, currently in consultation.

6. Section 2(2) of the Standards in Scotland's Schools etc Act 2000 states that in providing school education a local authority must have due regard, so far as reasonably practicable, to the views (if there is a wish to express them) of the child or young person in decisions that significantly affect them, taking into account their age and maturity.

7. Lough Dennell, B.L. and Logan, C. Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Education Report, LGBT Youth Scotland 2012.


9. "He's the stud and she's the s***". Young people's attitudes to pornography, sex and relationships report. Zero Tolerance, 2014

10. "Guidance on developing policies to promote the safe and responsible use of mobile technologies in schools", Scottish Government, 2013.

11. The Scottish Peer Education Network is set up to promote and support Peer Education projects across Scotland.

12. NSPCC report , "Standing on My Own Two Feet: disadvantaged teenagers, intimate partner violence and coercive control. 2011

13. See, for example, Page 9 of NHS Health Scotland, Sexual Health and Relationships Education ( SHARE), Safe, Happy and Responsible Education Resource, 2006. Available at, which states "be careful not to make assumptions or use language that will restrict learning for individuals or groups of students."

14. UNAIDS, Getting to Zero, 2011-2015. Available

15. Including, for example: UNESCO, The rationale for sexuality education, International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, December 2009. Available at Federal Centre for Health Education, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe: A framework for policy makers, education and health authorities and specialists, Cologne 2010. Available at

16. Promoting a Healthy Respect: What does the evidence support

17. UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights. UNICEF's Innocenti Research Centre report focuses on the notion of evolving capacity:

18. Sullivan, P.M., & Knuton, J.F. (2000). Maltreatment and disabilities: A population-based epidemiological study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(10), 1257-1273.

19. See the Education (School and Placing Information) (Scotland) Regulations 2012, in particular paragraph 6 of Schedule 1.

20. Fullerton D (2007). More than Words. Healthy Respect/Medical Research Council


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