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New expert healthy relationships group to advise on curriculum

21 February 2017

Emma Renold at Agenda Launch

A new expert group to advise on healthy relationships in the current school curriculum in Wales is to be chaired by a Cardiff University academic.

Set up by Education Secretary Kirsty Williams, the panel will provide advice and support on issues relating to the delivery of healthy relationships education within the curriculum.

This includes a range of areas such as improving understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues, violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, respect and consent, sexism and bullying.

Emma Renold, Professor of childhood studies at the University’s School of Social Sciences will chair the panel.

A whole education approach

Author of Children, Sexuality and Sexualisation, Professor Renold is internationally recognised for her work on gender and sexuality in childhood and youth across a wide range of areas including; bullying, violence, ‘sexualisation’, relationship cultures and identities.

She has championed a whole education approach to sex and relationships education that is inclusive of all genders and sexualities, and embedded in an equalities and rights-based framework.

Recently, Professor Renold led the production of Wales’ – and the UK’s - first online toolkit to support young people to raise awareness of gender-based and sexual violence in schools and local communities.

AGENDA: A Young People’s Guide to Making Positive Relationships Matter, features 11 case studies on a number of issues, including sexism, sexual harassment, LGBT+ relationships and FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).

The resources in AGENDA empower young people to safely and creatively speak out about and challenge entrenched gender inequalities and gender-based and sexual violence.

She has also been at the forefront of changes to policy, with her work impacting on the Welsh Government’s Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act.

'Internationally recognised'

Kirsty Williams said: “Providing good quality learning for children and young people on healthy relationships is essential to tackling a range of important issues and I want to have the best expert advice to help us achieve this.

“I am delighted such an experienced figure as Professor Emma Renold has agreed to chair the group as she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this new role..."

“She is internationally recognised for her work on gender and sexuality in childhood and youth across a wide range of areas including bullying, violence and sexualisation and I look forward to working with her.”

Kirsty Williams AM Education Secretary

Professor Renold added: “It is both a privilege and an honour to help support the effective delivery of sex and relationships education within the curriculum in Wales..."

“Chairing this panel is an incredible opportunity to draw upon research evidence, and collaborate with experts, including young people, to identify the most effective resources and practices that will address and enhance children and young people’s gender and sexual well-being.”

Professor EJ Renold Professor of Childhood Studies

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