Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Education and Skills
289. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the revised relationship and sexual education programme being developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment for primary and post-primary schools; if this new programme will be rolled out in September 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30287/21]
The NCCA has established two development groups, one for primary and one for post-primary, to oversee the work in this area and support the development of guidance material for schools. Both the primary and post primary SPHE/RSE Development Groups have been meeting virtually on a monthly basis since the groups were convened in October 2020.
The immediate focus of the work is on creating support materials for teachers for publication online as part of the Interim Guidance Toolkit. The toolkit's purpose is to support effective teaching and learning of SPHE/RSE linked to the current curriculum. This work is progressing well and sections of the toolkit (a portal repository of teaching and learning resources linked to the Primary SPHE Curriculum, the SPHE Junior Cycle Short Course and Senior Cycle SPHE Framework) have been published.
In tandem, preparation for the broader redeveloping and updating of the SPHE curriculum as recommended in the NCCA Report has begun, with an initial focus on Junior Cycle. The review of the current Junior Cycle SPHE course has been completed and will be considered by the NCCA Council this month. This review contains a brief which will inform the work of the subject development groups in formulating an updated Junior Cycle SPHE specification, which will begin in September. A draft of the updated specification will be available for public consultation in Q1 of 2022.
My Department continues to work closely with the NCCA to determine the approach to best give effect to the commitment in the Programme for Government.