I am concerned about sex education. From a distance, because obviously I’m not involved in delivering it. Well, I wasn’t until some bright spark thought up SEAL. (Seriously, who names an important bit of legislative agenda after a fat, blubbery sea animal that claps its fins together and makes comedy honking noises? Really, who? I’d like to know.)
No longer is Social, Emotional and Behavioural Learning – or just ‘good manners, decency and respect’ to you and me – to be taught in tutor time, but now it shall be ‘delivered in every lesson’. At RedTape High we actually have a SEAL agenda for our lessons – for every single lesson.
Sometimes it’s great; it links in with what we’re working on that day and it does give an extra structure to the classroom. The Colour Purple for instance invovled some genuinely inspiring conversations about race and prejudice and perceptions of colour – and the kids, of many different ethnic origins, were really enagaged: SEAL Agenda 1: Race Relations – tick.
And wierdly, Anthony and Cleopatra created some fascinating discussions about gang culture and the importance of your reputation - actually I was being observed that lesson and I have to say I totally nailed it. I was like Teacher Extraodinaire, linking themes, down with the kids, making them think, it was like something our of Dangerous Minds; though I’m not as hot in a skirt as Michelle Pfieffer.
Anyway, am off topic. The point is it works, but as a man, discussing sex with teenage girls, it’s like a black pit of possible disasters, and the guidance I’m getting is about minimal. Alarmingly minimal.