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?