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27th June 2019

“Catholic schools encourage excellence in relationships and sexuality education” – Bishops

The Summer 2019 General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference addressed the issue of relationships and sexuality education (RSE) in Catholic Schools.

The bishops noted that the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh TD, intends to publish in the near future a review of RSE by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).

In the submission to the NCCA, the bishops emphasised the importance of developing resources for relationships and sexuality education which respond to our changing cultural and social reality.

Bishops said, “Catholic schools encourage excellence in relationships and sexuality education, and in all learning, while promoting human flourishing in line with authentic Gospel values. At the heart of Gospel values are understanding, care and respect for the dignity of the human person.”

“In Catholic schools young people learn about values, about respect, about consent, about self-esteem, and about a whole range of other important issues in relation to relationships and sexual health in age appropriate ways, and in cooperation with parents. Contrary to some recent negative commentary, in Catholic schools young people do learn facts as part of their relationships and sexuality education.”

Bishops concluded, “RSE in Catholic schools seeks to build high self-esteem and resilience in young people and this approach permeates the entire life of the school. Developing in young people a sound moral compass is the task of parents/guardians and the entire school community.”