Tag Archives: Leicestershire

What Leicestershire parents think about compulsory sex education lessons in primary schools

Sex education: too much emphasis on the mechanics, says Doortje Braeken, who argues for more teaching about sexuality. Photograph: David Levene (The Guardian)

Sex education: too much emphasis on the mechanics, says Doortje Braeken, who argues for more teaching about sexuality. Photograph: David Levene (The Guardian)

Parents in Leicestershire have given the thumbs down to an MPs report which said sex and relationships education lessons should be compulsory in primary schools.

They gave their reactions after the Commons Education Committee said that “age appropriate” personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) and sex and relationships education (SRE) should be taught.

But mums in Leicestershire have told the Mercury they thought primary school was too early for youngsters to be taught sex education.

At the moment primary schools do not have to provide sex and relationships education beyond basic biology.

Faiza Ismel, 32, a teacher from Highfields, said: “It’s often difficult and embarrassing for both the teacher and the children.

“Children should be taught about it at home first and then taught about it in secondary school.”

Nicky Gant a 28-year-old support worker from Syston, added: “Let kids be kids. We shouldn’t push it on them.

“They should keep their innocence.”

However, there was a different response to the report from a leading city teaching union official .

Peter Flack, assistant association secretary for the city of Leicester National Union of Teachers, said the principal of SRE being compulsory in primary schools was welcomed.

He said: “One of the problems is that this is portrayed as sex education.

“The emphasis on constructive, positive and sharing relationships is a good thing.

“This is about empathy and commitment and stressing strong and loyal relationships based on trust.

“The NUT very much welcomes anything which contributes to positive relationships.”

The city and county councils have both said their schools already provide a lot of support to youngsters regarding these subjects.

A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said: “We welcome the report as sex and relationships education taught to a good quality can make a positive contribution towards developing the knowledge, understanding and values of young people.

“We already have a lot of support in place within Leicestershire through the healthy schools programme and Teenage Pregnancy Partnership.

“If the recommendations of the report are accepted by the Government, we’ll continue to support teachers and school leaders and give them the confidence to lead more detailed conversations with parents about the subject.”

A Leicester City Council spokesman said: “We are proud of our SRE policy which places the right emphasis on being safe and happy in a relationship as well as looking at staying safe on the internet or other media.

“We have a strong history in the city’s schools of high quality teaching in this area and this has also contributed to the significant reduction in teenage pregnancies.”

The Commons Education Committee launched its inquiry after inquiry was launched after Ofsted found more than a third of schools nationally were not providing age-appropriate SRE.

Commons Education Committee chairman Graham Stuart said: “Young people have a right to information that will keep them safe.”

Mr Stuart said: “SRE forms an important part of any school’s efforts to safeguard young people from abuse and is particularly needed to protect the most vulnerable children.

“PSHE builds character and resilience and will help young people to live happy and healthy lives.”

Nationally, the report has been welcome by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner of England.

Deputy Commissioner Sue Berelowitz said: “Once again we are calling for age-appropriate relationships and sex education to be made a statutory component of the curriculum.

“Young people need to understand what are and what are not healthy relationships.

Although the report was welcomed by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), it said that key questions still need to be answered.

Chris Keates, from the NASUWT, said: “We recognise the Select Committee is trying to address a difficult and contentious issue.

“However, there remain some key questions to be addressed.

“Who will determine what is age appropriate PSHE and SRE and what precisely should be taught?

“Will academies and free schools be required to implement such provision, given that they have freedom to determine their own curriculum?”

The union has also questioned who will provide the specialist support and training to provide the lessons.

She added: “Policymakers need to decide whether SRE is statutory and is treated as such in all schools, in which case parental opt-out cannot be retained.”

via Leicester Mercury

Further reading

British Schools Desperately Need Same-Sex Education

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Have your say on sexual health and HIV services

sexualhealth-and-hiv-preven

Partners across Leicestershire are asking for views to help shape future plans.

Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and Rutland County Council are currently reviewing the provision of sexual health and HIV prevention services.

As part of this, the public health teams are consulting with residents to inform future services.

An online questionnaire is available – for the public, service users and practitioners. Please visit http://consultations.leicester.gov.uk/corporate-resources-and-support/sexualhealth to view the questionaire.

The questionnaire can also be provided in a paper form by contacting Toni Burnet on 0116 3059238 or toni.burnett@leics.gov.uk

Please email/retweet/send this information on to others who you think may have an interest in this consultation.

The deadline for responses is 31st August 2014.

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Listening event for Leicester Hospitals

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Have you, or a friend or family member been a patient at any of Leicester’s Hospitals recently? If so, Leicester Hospitals extend an invitation to an important listening event hosted by their new Chief Nurse Rachel Overfield.

Rachel is new to Leicester and would like to hear directly from you what it is like being a patient in Leicester Hospitals.

Whatever your experience, if you have 15 minutes to spare please drop in any time at the Leicester Guildhall between 2pm – 7pm on Thursday, December 5th. (For venue information, directions and a map, please click here).  Coffee and mince pies will be available all day,  (and they’ve also been promised an open fire)!

During the afternoon, Rachel and her senior colleagues from the hospital will be available to hear from patients and families about their personal experiences of Leicester Royal, Leicester General and Glenfield Hospital’s services. There is no need to book a place, simply drop in whenever you are free.

Why not join them for a coffee and mince pie while you are out Christmas shopping. You might even want to take in the Richard III exhibition while you are at the Guildhall!

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“…and it won’t go away.” 25 Years of Leicestershire AIDS Support Services

 

The LASS History Project records the changing experiences of people affected by HIV over the years, while highlighting the extent to which HIV continues to disproportionately affect the most marginalised. It documents and celebrates the way people in Leicester came together to respond to the then, new virus and captures changes in attitudes, demography and health outcomes over the past 25 years.

LASS formed in 1987 as a telephone helpline for the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, at a time when it was almost impossible to find premises because of fear and stigma. 25 years later, we support over 500 people affected by HIV, we run a community rapid HIV testing service and work across communities to increase understanding and knowledge about HIV.

We received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a history project to mark our 25th anniversary year. This project has created a publication and currently developing an archive, and will continue to produce mobile exhibition materials to capture the stories and experiences of people involved in LASS’s work over the past 25 years.

We highlight the distinctive characteristics of LASS, which include our location in the ethnically and culturally diverse city of Leicester and changes in our client group over the years.

While we show that HIV remains a significant local issue – with Leicester experiencing the 6th highest rising rate of infection in the country – we also celebrate the improved life expectancy of people with HIV, and show how LASShas evolved to meet changing needs and demands on our services.

It is our hope, that our history will inspire others and continue to raise awareness of the changing issues in responding to HIV and to challenge persistent myths and stereotypes.

Download your copy here

(PS: Celebrate World AIDS Day with us tomorrow night)! Click here for more details!

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Celebrate World AIDS Day With Us, on Saturday Night!!

Leicestershire AIDS Support Services present you with an evening of fabulous live music entertainment in support of World AIDS Day.  We have an eclectic mix of music lined up from 4 great bands featuring;

COUNTERACTIONBAND, a UK Dub and Roots Live Band
Fully dedicated to the sounds of conscious Dub and Roots, the CounterAction Band’s mission is to represent the vibes of heavy dub sound system culture live on stage!

This multi-cultural band is; fronted by I-mitri (Greece) on lead/backing vocals, rhythm guitar and percussion, with Citizen Baxter (Ireland) on bass, Pandacub (Wales+Cornwall) on drums, and Eli P (Dominica) on Keys+MPCs.

When not drawing from the extensive CounterAction vaults for material the crew occasionally act as a backing band for artists like Jah Marnyah and Parvez (The Dub Factory) amongst others, and host the monthly live Dub night “Recession Sessions” in Leicester. They have shared the stage with great sounds like Aba Shanti I and bands like the Blood Shanti Ites, the Splitters, Flux and Vibronics!

MULTIMORPH – The current vehicle for Maureen Anderson’s poetry and general creativity, Multimorph rose from the ashes of Shapeshifter when the latter’s long-standing guitarist Dave Johnson passed away from cancer in March 2009.

Maureen is now joined by dual guitarists Kevin Hewick and Rizz James, dual bassists Dave Dhonau and Darren Baxter, cajon drummer Jim Tetlow and Darren’s partner Helena McLeod as additional vocalist since guesting on their ‘Meditation Chamber’ album. Live performances are further augmented by the live painting and costumes of local artist Nick Nixon and the liquid light show of Lumiere Ogbanje to create a bizarre but infectiously memorable live experience.

SLEEPING THOUGH RAPTURE is an alternative band made up of four musicians from Leicester. After a year of playing together, the band has written lots of great material and has played gigs around Leicester.

You can check out their blog, for more info on this up and coming band: http://sleepingthroughrapture.tumblr.com/

And finally but by no means least is GEORGE SANDERSUN who evokes bright summer days or the dark depths of the woods with his intriguing psychedelic folk.

His song writing references 60s, new wave psychedelic and traditional folk, with multi layered solo harmony effects that meld together to form an earthy mellow approach creating a sound that’s fresh and real.
Fans of Iron and Wine or Fleet Foxes should definitely check out George!

A special thanks to Neil Segrott who be on the PA driving the sound for the night.

The concert is hosted at the Y Theatre, 7 East Street  City Centre, Leicester LE1 6EY (Click for a map).

Tickets cost £10 (£8 consessions) from the Y Theatre, available from this link: http://www.leicesterymca.co.uk/y-theatre-whats-on-details.php?listing=1189

**Special Offer**

Buy your tickets directly from LASS and buy one, get one free.  Contact our reception, on 0116 2559995 for more information.

**FREE TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE VERY SOON, CHECK THIS BLOG AND OUR TWITTER ACCOUNT FOR MORE INFORMATION**

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We’re re-introducing volunteer induction meetings!

On 26th April, and each month thereafter, we’ll be holding volunteer induction meetings for all new and current volunteers, who wish to stay up to date with the events and activities at LASS.

Meetings shall be in two parts; to begin with, we’ll ensure all new volunteers have an induction to LASS and our services where we’ll talk about our aims and objectives, an overview of our teams, confidentiality/policies, and checking paperwork like applications and CRB checks (if necessary).

Once these basics are covered, we’ll explain HIV basics and talk about volunteer involvement and plan for our current and future projects.  Previously we’ve shared our collective knowledge about volunteering within a health and social care environment, provided details of free training courses ranging from HIV information, to mentoring, to computer skills (some of these award certificates or qualifications).

LASS can be a busy place at times, and these monthly meetings are ideal to stay updated with our work and engage with us while socialising and staying active with new and interesting projects.

We have a very interesting year ahead, it’s our 25th anniversary and LASS has changed with the times, we work across the whole range of communities in Leicester and Leicestershire, tackling wider health, poverty and inequalities that impact on individuals living with HIV.  Throughout our 25 year celebrations, we plan to raise our profile higher by increasing the understanding and awareness of the changes in the reality of living with HIV over the past 25 years.

Some of our upcoming projects include the re-introduction of famous friends, documenting 25 years of LASS, developing our social enterprise further, a football match and even a walking boat race!

We request all new volunteers to attend at least one meeting so we can ensure new people are familiar with our service, and for everyone else, we hope you’ll become a regular so we can plan ahead and really make an impact like we have been doing over the past 25 years.

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, 26th April at 11:00am at The Michael Wood Centre, we’d love to hear from you.

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Positive Men’s Support Group

Do you wish there was a support group, specifically for men where you can talk to other guys about the HIV related issues that affect you?

Well, you’re in good company!

LASS are working with HIV positive men to support and address issues that affect them.  We hope to understand the issues properly so we can better educate the various services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland so more men have better access to health care, information and advice, tailored to meet the needs of HIV positive men.

Our first meeting is today, 12th March between 17:30 – 19:00 at LASS (53 Regent Road, Leicester, LE1 6YF – click for a map).  We appreciate that for some, this is immediately after work so we’re providing food, (Pizza) – vegetarian and Halal options available.

We do hope you’re able to attend, as this is the first group, we’re seeking members to get involved and set the agenda for future meetings so we can support each other and develop support services throughout the county.

If you would like any further information, please contact Chaz, on 0116 2559995 or by email to: chaz@lass.org.uk

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