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Monday 24th October 2016

Contraception in primary school

25th October 2006

Children need to be taught about contraception in primary school, according to a new report, which also recommends free condoms to teenagers in schools.

Teenagers in Britain are the most sexually active in Europe and have the highest birth rate. The average age of first sexual intercourse is now 16, with around a quarter of young people having sex before the age of consent.

The report by the Institute for Public Policy Research reveals that almost a third of 15-year-olds did not use a condom the last time they had sex.

The study, Freedom's Orphans: Raising Youth in a Changing World, says children should be taught contraception in their final primary school year, at aged 10 or 11.

It also recommends condoms should be given or sold cheaply in schools and that teenagers should be given a full choice of contraception, including long-lasting forms like implants.

The government said teenage pregnancy rates were at their lowest for 20 years and had fallen by more than 10 per cent since it introduced the teenage pregnancy strategy in 1998. But the report shows it is still the highest in Europe with 26 live births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19.

The school lesson personal, social and health education (PSHE) should become statutory in all primary and secondary schools, instead of just being a recommendation as at present, according to the report.

Currently, sex education must be taught under the science curriculum to 11 to 14-year-olds during key stage 3.

The full report is expected to be published in November.

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