The comments come from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).
The RCPCH have published their response following the closing of the Department of Education’s consultation on changes to the Relationship and Sex Education curriculum.
Ignoring questions one through to nine, as they only affected the person who was taking the consultation, they published their answers to the other questions.
They agreed that the new curriculum was age appropriate for all age groups concerned, however they disagreed that it was “sufficient” enough.
On primary school education, the doctors wrote that: “There needs to be a clear statement that LGBT people and relationships are part of teaching about healthy relationships in primary school. This can be demonstrated in relation to families – but also it is helpful to children to learn the meaning of terms such as lesbian, gay and bisexual. ”
They also said that lessons should cover the correct terms for anatomy and respecting other people’s boundaries.
Providing further comments, they said: “The RCPCH therefore welcomes the introduction of statutory physical health and wellbeing education, alongside relationships and sex education.
“We particularly welcome the expectation that mental health education should have the same high expectations for children as other subjects, including proper staffing and timetabling, the facilitation of a safe learning environment and using external visitors to teach.
“Having mental health on par with physical health is a very positive step, as is the acknowledgement of the relationships between physical and mental health. We also welcome the recognition of the effect bullying, both on and offline, has on mental health, as well as the suggestion that LGBT issues should be ‘integral’.”
A way that could help to help teach children about LGBTQ issues is with the raft of LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books that have begun hitting the market. GLAAD are aiming to publish four LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books every year, and there are others already out including Promised Land, The Prince and the Frog and Tango Makes Three.
Earlier this year, the government published a new sex and relationship guidance which is set to roll out in schools in 2020, a year after it was initially planned to do so. The consultation, which recently closed, asked members of the public for feedback on its content (or lack thereof).
At the time, Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner praised the decision, adding: “All children should be empowered to make healthy, informed decisions, to know that it’s not wrong to be LGBT and not acceptable to experience gendered harassment or violence.”