Going Dutch on Sex Education

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A CONTINGENCY from Warwickshire will be visiting the Netherlands in October to find out why Dutch teenage pregnancy rates are five times lower than the UK’s.

The EU Leonardo Da Vinci Programme has awarded the Respect Yourself Campaign €40k to develop a project to improve sexual health of young people and teenage pregnancy rates in the county. The project will involve professionals from health, education, the voluntary sector, leisure services, family and parenting support, and other support services working with young people, all take a consistent approach.

Respect Yourself campaign manager Amy Danahay said: “Warwickshire will be using this funding to address the factors deemed to ‘make a difference’ to improving the sexual health of young people and reduce the teenage pregnancy rates which will inform our future aims.

“We believe we can achieve these aims by focusing our project proposals on future training for professionals working with young people. Whilst we could not involve parents and teenagers at this stage, we hope as the relationship between Rutgers and Respect Yourself develops that there will be more opportunities in the future.

Warwickshire County Councillor Heather Timms, cabinet member for children and young people’s services added: “At a time where service resources are shrinking, this funding and the experience it offers to members of the sexual health workforce is much welcomed news.

“It is sad and well documented fact that teenage pregnancy and STI rates in the UK are too high and we could do well to learn from the practice of our Dutch counterparts. This project is a first for Warwickshire and for local authorities nationwide so the future scope for sharing our learning will be broad.”