| 8.5°C Dublin

Secondary schools criticised for lack of sex ed and PE

Close

‘Inconsistency’ at CUS

‘Inconsistency’ at CUS

‘Inconsistency’ at CUS

A number of second-level schools have been taken to task by Department of Education inspectors over the lack of, or inadequate, sex education for senior cycle pupils.

Another common theme in recent inspectors' reports is schools not providing PE for Leaving Cert pupils.

Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) has been mandatory for all schoolgoers since the 1990s, and all students are supposed to have access to PE.

However, inspectors continue to find schools where Leaving Cert students, in particular, are not timetabled for one or both subjects, often because of the focus on exams.

Quality

A major review of the quality and delivery of RSE in schools is currently in progress.

Concerns about RSE and PE provision in some schools were raised in reports arising from whole school evaluations (WSE) conducted last autumn.

At the fee-paying, 716-pupil all-boys Presentation Brothers College in the Mardyke, Cork, inspectors said it was clear from the outcomes of questionnaires issued as part of the WSE that there was a strong need to improve provision around relationships, sex and social, personal and health education.

Inspectors also asked for a review of RSE at another fee-paying boys' school, CUS, on Leeson Street, Dublin.

According to the CUS report, questionnaire responses from parents and students indicate "an inconsistency in the quality and frequency of RSE provision at senior cycle" at the 525-pupil school.

A lack of timetabling for PE for fifth and sixth-year pupils is also highlighted in a WSE report on the Presentation Brothers College.

In its response to the WSE, the Mardyke school said a member of the board of management has been assigned to ensure that all of the recommendations made in the report were put in place.