Sheffield MP calls for better online education in schools

Loiuse Haigh MP
Loiuse Haigh MP
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A Sheffield MP has called for the introduction of online education in schools after the Government hinted it would make sex and relationship lessons compulsory.

Education Minister Caroline Dinenage said ministers are looking at bringing in a law making sex and relationship education compulsory in all schools.

It comes after mounting pressure from across the political spectrum to bring about the change following concerns children are being left ill-equipped to cope with the new realities of online porn, cyber bullying and sexting.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, said it was a 'common sense change' but called the introduction of comprehensive online education in schools.

She also wants to see social media providers sign up to a code of conduct to help protect youngsters from online bullying.

The shadow minister for digital economy said: "I am pleased that the Government have finally agreed to implement this common sense change. In truth, it shouldn’t have taken this long.”

“But I know parents worry as much about the online world as offline. Worried about their children being subjected to bullying or inappropriate images online; and worry that they as parents feel they may not be best placed to put a stop to it.”

“That’s why alongside sex and relationship education, we desperately need to see comprehensive online education for our kids, teaching them how to stay safe online and help children ask questions in a safe environment where their questions can be answered by professionals.

"We also need to see social media providers to sign up to a code of conduct with a clear plan on how they can help protect children from online bullying.”

Repeatedly asked during a Commons adjournment debate on the topic if the Government will bring in sex and relationship legislation, Ms Dinenage said ministers are 'looking at it'.

Ms Dinenage said it is important that children and young people 'have access to effective, factually accurate, age appropriate, sex and relationship education'.

She said: "The Secretary of State has been very clear that we will set out plans to move forward as part of that Bill."