Our Esteem team in Southwark provide RSE in a specialist provision school for boys with social, emotional and mental health issues. This alternative educational setting supports young men who have been excluded from mainstream school for a variety of reasons.
RSE lessons are important for these students because those who find themselves in these settings tend to be the most vulnerable. This may be due to gang membership, family breakdown, behavioural or learning difficulties, or a mixture of all of these.
This year, we were asked to deliver sessions on sexting, because the staff believed some of the students were engaging in this behaviour. These sessions saw a marked change in attitudes. Before the sessions the majority of the boys were very casual about the idea of people sending nude photographs to each other, but once we went through the law and the potential risks, their attitudes changed and they became a lot more aware of the issues surrounding sexting.
One boy said of our educators, “I could ask them anything unlike with my dad who’d respond to my question with ‘why do you want to know that?’”