Healthcare professionals can provide confidential sexual health advice and treatment to young people as long as they believe the young person is mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved. Schools can invite health professionals to provide advice and support on a range of issues for their pupils and we trust schools to decide what is appropriate for their pupils.
Through the introduction of relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education the Department has set out the core knowledge that all pupils should be taught, whilst allowing flexibility for schools to design a curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate and taught in a sensitive and inclusive way, with respect to the background and beliefs of pupils.
It is important that pupils know what the law says about sex, relationships and young people. The draft statutory guidance states that in relation to intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health, pupils should know the facts about the full range of contraceptive choices, efficacy and options available; the facts around pregnancy including miscarriage; and that there are choices in relation to pregnancy (with medically and legally accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help).