A 2012 Ofsted evaluation of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and RSE delivery in primary and secondary schools in England found that teachers needed more support and training to teach sensitive and controversial RSE themes. The draft RSE guidance out for consultation last year recommends that schools cover all pregnancy options, including abortion, in a way that is medically and legally accurate. Yet tools and training for teachers in such topics are very limited, which makes resources such as the FSRH-RCOG leaflet even the more crucial.
Despite being a common medical procedure, myths about abortion and stigma are widespread, including in the classroom. We aim to change that. The factsheet counters myths that are known to be taught in schools such as abortion causing infertility and mental illness.
Education for Choice, a project led by the young people’s charity Brook, released a report in 2013. Education for Choice investigated the state of abortion education in schools during a 10-month period. It found that some teachers and external speakers delivering lessons on abortion had been using materials which were inaccurate, biased and often stigmatised abortion. According to the report, these are not isolated incidents, and a number of schools are known to be using inaccurate or heavily biased information to teach about abortion.
Pupils deserve and have the right to impartial, medically-accurate information.