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Parents signal confidence talking to their children about sex & relationships, but indicate lack of

  • New research finds 85% of British parents are confident supporting their children with the facts around the realities of sexual relationships, but nearly a third don't feel supported by schools to have conversations at home
    As schools prepare for the transition to the new RSE curriculum, ClickView reveal results of new research examining parents’ attitudes around relationship and sex
    Working alongside Relationships and Sex Consultant, Rebecca Jennings, ClickView launch Respectful & Intimate Relationships series, championing the evolving role of video in education settings 

New YouGov research commissioned by ClickView has found that confidence is high in parents when it comes to talking about sex and relationships, with 75% of British parents with children aged 5 to 18 confident talking to their children about the topic.

Far from showing any signals of embarrassment or awkwardness, the survey has highlighted the positive approach by parents, debunking the idea that important conversations can’t or aren’t being had at home.

Whilst parents show clear confidence, nearly a third (28%) said they don’t feel supported by their child's school to talk about relationships and sex education at home and less than half said that felt supported by schools (43%).

Many schools deliver outstanding provision to support the personal development and pastoral needs of their students, however with RSE previously being absent from the curriculum and so many competing pressures for educators, it is understandable to see why some schools have struggled to give this important topic the air time that they would like to.

Recently grabbing headlines, the role of sex education that’s equipped for the digital age we live in has come under scrutiny. From the decision taken by the AQA exam board to stop linking Zoella content as part of a GSCE media studies course, to Zara McDermott’s Revenge Porn documentary.

It’s a timely discussion, given that schools are currently transitioning to a new Relationships & Sex education (RSE) curriculum, which is compulsory to have in place by the start of the summer term 2021.
In addition to the curriculum changes, lockdown measures have led to children spending more time than ever online to stay connected. With increased usage comes increased risk, as relationships rely more than ever on digital platforms.

Working alongside Relationships and Sex Consultant, Rebecca Jennings, ClickView has produced two new series focused on Respectful and Intimate Relationships. RAISE consultant Rebecca has over 18 years’ experience working with children and young people in educational settings, teaching sex and relationships education and sexual health initiatives.

Both series explore challenging and important issues surrounding respectful relationships, including sexual harassment, domestic violence, misogyny in pornography, pornography versus reality, and the sharing of intimate images. With additional resources for schools, ClickView hope to be able to help educators to in turn further support parents. Both series are free for both educators and parents to access: Free educational resources
 
Having worked within the subject for nearly two decades, Rebecca believes that the results highlight a clear gap where parents are wanting to begin these conversations with their children but don’t feel they have to support or the building blocks to begin that discussion. She commented –
 
“Schools need to acknowledge that parents are the primary care givers for their children and ultimately there should be a partnership between home and school as they would with every other subject in the curriculum.”
 
Rebecca added - “When parents feel empowered, they are then able to navigate sensitive conversations from a very early stage with their children. Parents state they do feel more confident but perhaps are unsure of where and how to start the conversation. If we ensure a home-school partnership around the topic of RSE then we are saying to our children and young people ‘we are here’ ‘we are listening’. Education for parents around some of the topics they may not understand will certainly overcome the barriers to those much-needed discussions at home.”
 
In a bid to help raise awareness and increase the number of schools showing the recent 'Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn' documentary to students, ClickView has added this to their Secondary content library. Rebecca said –
 
"Education is a force for change and this powerful documentary has already started a positive and much needed conversation about the impact of non-consensual sharing of intimate images. Schools and educators play a vital role in keeping this conversation going and empowering students to recognise when they aren't given the respect they deserve within a relationship. The online world in the 21st century is ever changing, and it is essential students have the correct information in order to make informed choices for them to navigate relationships and online content safely. It's a brilliant, informative, and hard-hitting watch and in bravely sharing her story, Zara has given schools a brilliant resource that I implore educators to make the most of, to help tackle the issue and create positive, lasting change.”
 
As the world’s leading producer of educational video content, ClickView is on a mission to help make education more engaging, understandable, and digestible – whilst also ensuring content is relevant and timely.

ClickView’s YouGov survey results coincide with the release of a bigger independent report by YouGov into global media consumption, which found COVID-19 has contributed to accelerating the growth of video streaming – both in terms of audience size and time spent. (Source YouGov Global Media Consumption Report 2021)
The findings support the evolving role that video can play in an educational setting. Constantly adding to their on-demand library of curriculum-aligned content as well as hard to teach topics, the team at ClickView passionately believe in videos ability to transform classroom and blended learning experiences.

Managing Director at ClickView UK, Michael Wilkinson said - “ClickView is committed to providing resources educators need to deliver age-appropriate and evidence-based respectful relationships education. As schools’ transition to the new RSE curriculum, the series is hugely timely and relevant. We know the huge amount of pressure schools and teachers continue to be under and they need support in order to help parents on this important topic. With the help of subject experts, we have developed a range of resources that we hope can enable educators to confidently raise awareness of problematic behaviours among young people and create healthy attitudes towards sex and relationships.”
 

Parents attitudes on relationships and sex education…key findings:

  • Mums more confident than Dads talking to their child about relationships and sex, 37% Mums ‘very confident’ compared to just under a quarter of Dads (23%)
  • 75% of parents feel confident about talking to their children about relationships and sex
  • 85% of British parents are confident supporting their children with the facts around the realities of sexual relationships
  • 2 in 10 (20%) parents not confident talking to their child about relationships and sex
  • Quarter of parents with children in primary school not confident (25%)
  • Parents in South and North of England least confident compared to other GB regions (26% and 23% - compared to 11% of parents in London who said they were not confident)
  • Region that feel least supported - South of England (31%)
  • Younger parents are much less confident talking to their child about relationships and sex, 32% of parents aged 25-34 not confident, compared to 15% aged 45-54
  • Over a third (42%) of parents aged 25-34 do not feel supported by schools to talk about relationships and sex education at home
  • Nearly a third of GB parents (30%) said that ‘signposting to resources and services that they can use’ and ‘general support from their child/children’s school’ would be helpful to them when discussing relationships and/ or sex at home
  • Confidence in parents is high when it comes to supporting their children with the facts around the realities of sexual relationships, 83% of GB parents answering they were confident in doing so. Confidence is higher in older parents, 73% of parents aged 25-34 compared to 92% parents 45-54 
Supporting over 5,000 schools, colleges and Universities around the world with online video learning content, ClickView’s latest series covers a wide range of topics from misogyny in pornography, to pornography versus ‘reality’, sharing intimate images online and pornography addiction, in four, ‘themed’ episodes:
 
  • Series 1 - Respectful Relationships
  • Series 2 - Respectful Intimate RelationshipsThe series is supported by teacher guides created with the UK’s leading Relationships and Sex Consultant in schools, Rebecca Jennings, where she explores the ideas and issues raised and offers helpful teaching strategies for implementation.
 
To support with the transition to the new PSHE Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum, ClickView have made both series available for free and put together a helpful downloadable guide for schools and educators. To browse the full range of resources, visit https://www.clickview.co.uk/free-teaching-resources/respectful-relationships/.
 
To find out more, visit Clickview.co.uk.
 
Relationships and Sex Consultant and Founder of RAISE, Rebecca Jennings, shares her expert advice for schools looking for ways to support parents:
 
Hosting an online ‘How to talk to your child about growing up, changes, sexual health etc.’ depending on the age of pupils, can be a really beneficial way of instilling confidence for parents who would otherwise struggle.

Simple tips such as using everyday situations to discuss RSE topics works really well rather than having a one-off conversation.

Providing ‘top tips’ in the school newsletter or having a point of contact at school ahead of any delivery of RSE to ensure parents can continue the conversations at home.

RAISE can deliver online parent workshops; these aim to provide suggested resources, techniques for answering tricky questions and provide parents and carers with the knowledge and understanding behind RSE in order to have confidence to talk openly and honestly at home.

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