Education Minister Richard Bruton has announced a major review of relationships and sexuality education (RSE) in schools.
Officials are being asked to consider a number of areas – including issues around consent, developments in contraception, LGBTQ matters, and safe use of the internet.
The review by the National Council on Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) will also look at social media and its effects on relationships and self-esteem.
Minister Bruton says some elements of the curriculum are 20 years old, and that it’s time to carry out a review “to ensure that it is fit for purpose”.
He said the review will form part of ongoing work being carried out by the NCCA to reform both the primary and senior cycle curriculum.
The Department of Education will also work with health officials will also work to develop “enhanced resources to assist the teaching of RSE in schools”.
In a statement, Minister Bruton explained: “Every student has a right to access information about sexual health, relationships and sexuality, and this must be delivered in a factual manner in every school. This review will help to inform decisions regarding the content of the curriculum and how it is delivered.
“It is essential for the curriculum to be delivered by teachers who are fully supported and who feel comfortable teaching the curriculum and talking to their students about sexuality and relationships.”
The review comes following a recommendation by Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.
The committee’s report included a call for a “thorough review of sexual health and relationship education”, including issues around contraception and consent.