RSE and Sexual Consent Education

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 6 December 2021.

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Photo of Cara Hunter Cara Hunter Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:15, 6 December 2021

T3. Ms Hunter asked the Minister of Education whether she will commit, today, to meet the Justice Minister to discuss vital and crucial issues that affect our young people, given that in the most-recent Question Time to the Minister of Justice, Minister Long stated that although she would like to work closely with the Minister and her Department on sexual consent education and wider aspects of RSE, she was regretful about the Minister’s level of engagement, albeit she met your predecessor, Minister Weir. (AQT 1873/17-22)

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

I thank the Member for her question. As I said in my response to Mr Blair, I am committed to ensuring that work is done to protect women and prevent violence against women, and particularly exploitation of young girls. I have no issue with meeting the Justice Minister, but, as I said in my earlier answer, our officials are working very closely together and the Department is progressing that to ensure that resources and so on are in place in order to assist teachers in raising awareness in schools.

Photo of Cara Hunter Cara Hunter Social Democratic and Labour Party

Thank you, Minister, for your answer. Can you provide a timeline for the review of consent and of wider RSE in our curriculum?

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

I thank the Member for her question. That is moving on, and it has been moving on at pace. I do not have a particular timeline, but I am happy to come back to the Member on that. As information comes to the Department, things evolve, and it is very much a moving feast, but I am content to come back to the Member on the main tenet of the work that we are doing.