BY Ian Dunn | January 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Church condemns plan for sexual health centres in or near schools

The Church’s education wing in Scotland has condemned a ‘sinister’ Scottish Government plan to locate sexual health centres near Catholic schools.

Although in its submission to ministers the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SECS) said it was broadly supportive of many of the aims in the proposal  ‘we find it sinister that this draft strategy proposes that sexual health service drop-in centres should be situated “in or close to” schools.’

“This smacks of an underhand strategy which appears determined to impose a moral standpoint in direct opposition to the moral perspectives proposed by Catholic schools and to the wishes of parents who choose Catholic education for their children,” the SCES statement goes on.

SCES calls for the reference to drop-in clinics within or near to schools to be removed from the final document.

The SCES submission did say it welcomed aspects of the proposal saying it was ‘holistic in their approach, rather than fragmented and piecemeal.’

“In particular we share the wish to see fewer unwanted teenage pregnancies and a reduction in the number of abortions in Scotland,” it says.

Although teenage pregnancies in Scotland have dropped by a third in the last decade they remain higher than the Europe average.

“We also support the aspiration of educating young people for adult life and for parenthood in particular,” the SCES writes. “We recognise the vulnerability of young people who are pressurised by being immersed in a highly sexualised culture. We fully support the development of an holistic approach to improving sexual wellbeing, one which addresses various dimensions of human life and does not merely focus on the physical.  We have consistently argued for the development of a stronger focus on the positive value of relationships and parenthood education in schools, with sex education being a sub-set of the former.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We will consider all consultation responses on the draft strategy as we finalise the document. The final version of the strategy will be published in early 2016.”




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