Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sex in the City

The photo is my old school, Morgan Academy, Dundee.  It's one of two schools in the city of Dundee - the other being Menzieshill High School - that has been part of a pilot scheme for the past year.

Nothing unusual about that until you learn that the pilot scheme, operated by Health Buddies, involves the recruitment and training of S3 (14-15-year-olds) in sex and relationships.  The S3 pupils then pass on their knowledge to S1 (11-12-year-olds).  The board of NHS Tayside were told the Health Buddies project has been awarded a Diana certificate of excellence.  Wow.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce teenage pregnancies as Dundee and the surrounding areas are consistently reported having the highest rates in Scotland.

Trustees of NHS Tayside Endowment Fund have agreed to provide £150,000 from the charitable fund to continue the programme and extend the scheme to two more schools in Dundee.

I'm bewildered by this sum of money going towards 15-year-olds teaching 12-year-olds about sex and relationships.  It must be a generational problem because I don't understand what experience 15-year-old children have of sex and sexual relationships.  'Training' them in the subject sounds very NWO to me.  If this scheme involved 6th year pupils instead of those aren't even old enough to legally leave school and are still legally minors, then it would be a different story.  Aren't teachers providing enough sex education?  There's enough time and money spent on the subject. Our schools are taking on more and more parenting responsibilites which dilute their reason d'etre of providing children with a formal education.  Is it any wonder standards in basic subjects are falling?

To put this expenditure into perspective - the Trustees also approved £19,200 from the endowment fund for the benefit of severely disabled children.  The money will be spent on an upgrade of the sensory room at Glenlaw House where children go for respite to give families a break from round the clock caring.

A further £15,296 of charitable funding was approved to convert an out-patient corridor at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee to an eye clinic consulting room.  Why on earth is a charity paying for internal alterations to an NHS hospital?



Joe Public said...

There must be a very, very fine line between older children 'educating' 12 year olds about sex; and, 'grooming'.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

A Diana certificate of excellence?

My head is reeling.

And I'm not even in a Mercedes.

subrosa said...

Yes indeed Joe. I'm not going to say more just now.

subrosa said...

Aye Conan, a 'top' class accolade.

What's the country come to?

Anon said...

High rates of teenage pregnancy - USA, Israel, UK ...

Low rates - Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Singapore...

I suppose it has something to do with popular culture/the media?

Maybe Dundee should ban Rupert Murdoch.

- Aangirfan

Sheila said...

From Brave New World :

"OUTSIDE, in the garden, it was playtime. Naked in the warm June sunshine, six or seven hundred little boys and girls were running with shrill yells over the lawns, or playing ball games, or squatting silently in twos and threes among the flowering shrubs. The roses were in bloom, two nightingales soliloquized in the boskage, a cuckoo was just going out of tune among the lime trees. The air was drowsy with the murmur of bees and helicopters.

The Director and his students stood for a short time watching a game of Centrifugal Bumble-puppy. Twenty children were grouped in a circle round a chrome steel tower. A ball thrown up so as to land on the platform at the top of the tower rolled down into the interior, fell on a rapidly revolving disk, was hurled through one or other of the numerous apertures pierced in the cylindrical casing, and had to be caught.

"Strange," mused the Director, as they turned away, "strange to think that even in Our Ford's day most games were played without more apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of netting. imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It's madness. Nowadays the Controllers won't approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games." He interrupted himself.

"That's a charming little group," he said, pointing.

In a little grassy bay between tall clumps of Mediterranean heather, two children, a little boy of about seven and a little girl who might have been a year older, were playing, very gravely and with all the focussed attention of scientists intent on a labour of discovery, a rudimentary sexual game.

"Charming, charming!" the D.H.C. repeated sentimentally.

"Charming," the boys politely agreed. But their smile was rather patronizing. They had put aside similar childish amusements too recently to be able to watch them now without a touch of contempt. Charming? but it was just a pair of kids fooling about; that was all. Just kids.

"I always think," the Director was continuing in the same rather maudlin tone, when he was interrupted by a loud boo-hooing.

From a neighbouring shrubbery emerged a nurse, leading by the hand a small boy, who howled as he went. An anxious-looking little girl trotted at her heels.

"What's the matter?" asked the Director.

The nurse shrugged her shoulders. "Nothing much," she answered. "It's just that this little boy seems rather reluctant to join in the ordinary erotic play. I'd noticed it once or twice before. And now again to-day. He started yelling just now …"

"Honestly," put in the anxious-looking little girl, "I didn't mean to hurt him or anything. Honestly."

"Of course you didn't, dear," said the nurse reassuringly. "And so," she went on, turning back to the Director, "I'm taking him in to see the Assistant Superintendent of Psychology. Just to see if anything's at all abnormal."

"Quite right," said the Director. "Take him in. You stay here, little girl," he added, as the nurse moved away with her still howling charge. "What's your name?"

"Polly Trotsky."

"And a very good name too," said the Director. "Run away now and see if you can find some other little boy to play with."

The child scampered off into the bushes and was lost to sight.

"Exquisite little creature!" said the Director, looking after her. Then, turning to his students, "What I'm going to tell you now," he said, "may sound incredible. But then, when you're not accustomed to history, most facts about the past do sound incredible."'

Woodsy42 said...

I wouldn't worry that the 15 year olds lack experience. I think Joe P has it, once they have finished grooming the younger ones they will soon make up any deficiency of knowledge.

JRB said...

I apologise – I know I am a grumpy old man – but!!!

Have the lunatics escaped and taken over the asylum – or in this case NHS Tayside?

This is all so very wrong for so many reasons.

It is more often than not that peer pressure leads youngsters into casual sexual relationships. How do they now expect that same peer pressure to teach any understanding of sex and relationships?

As for the Endowment fund, as in all hospitals it is made up of donations given to enhance the lot of less fortunate patients. It should not be a reserve fund for the board to use in order to avoid necessary capital expenditure.

subrosa said...

I suppose the X factor etc does have something to do with it Aangirfan, but using up school time with matters like this certainly doesn't help any child with their formal education.

subrosa said...

What can I say Sheila other than thank you for posting that. Frightening.

subrosa said...

Woodsy it's hard to get my head around that.

subrosa said...

I must be a grumpy old woman then John.

It is so wrong and damage will be done to these youngsters. Nobody will find out until it's too late.

The use of the Endowment fund in these cases is unacceptable. I've written to the Trust to say so.

RMcGeddon said...

Google has thrown a wobbly SR.
Will try and post later ;)

subrosa said...

I hope you do RM. Look forward to it.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Rosie, we had that at our school as well. Boys in the fifth year were 'sex buddies' to well built fourth year lassies. At least it worked for me!

Derek said...

What's Blogger up to?
Write a comment, fill in the scrambled word and wants Google account details. Try and go back - comment erased.

Derek said...

OK, Blogger changed the format. Monkeys!

I noticed blouses bulging in the fourth form, but they were only interested in the sixth form boys, so I carried on riding my bike.

First job on a farm at 16yrs of age, the Boar serving a Sow gave me my sex education. Sure, we looked in the magazine shops at the covers of Health & Efficiency on the way home from swimming, but had no idea how the 'tackle' worked. It was just 'different'.

It was when I saw the Stud stallion performing I felt woefully inadequate . . . Bloody Hell!

Sex education in schools, it shouldn't happen - too much state interference. Precious little of which is ever intended to do good. It's the parents responsibility - or take them down to the farm. Respect, responsibility and consequences ought to be foremost. Maybe too much Quadrophenia and 'free love', and not enough Cathy Come Home.

English Pensioner said...

At school we were always encouraged to try to use the knowledge that we'd gained when outside school.
The trouble with sex education is that this is the last thing you want the pupils to do, but at that age, they see no reason why the rule should apply to some subjects and not others.

subrosa said...

DL, which list D school was that? :)

subrosa said...

Oh Derek, I've no idea. It seems to be working from this end. Ah I see it is for you now too.

Far too much state interference. I just wonder with all this sex education and other social issues when the actual teaching of the fundamentals take place.

subrosa said...

Very well said EP.

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