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Pupils: Gender

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Lucas Lord Lucas Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address sex stereotyping in schools.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

From September 2020, it will be compulsory for all primary schools to teach relationships education and for all secondary schools to teach relationships and sex education. Health education will be compulsory in all state-funded schools. These subjects directly support the government’s ambitions to end discrimination against women and girls.

Pupils will be taught about stereotypes, consent, mutual respect, management of conflict, sexual violence and laws relating to sex, relationships and young people in an age-appropriate way.

The department’s careers strategy is clear that positive steps are being taken to tackle gender stereotypes in schools. For example, we are exploring how to close the gender divide in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across educational and professional routes, such as through STEM apprenticeships and the new T levels.

We are funding gender balance programmes in physics and computing which aim to identify practical interventions that schools can implement to improve girls’ participation in these subjects. We are also funding research that will help us to better understand what works to improve girls’ mathematics and physics A-level participation.

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