CCEA's Ideological Framework

In May 2023 CCEA launched a Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Hub, containing a range of resources and topics to support the learning and teaching of RSE. These resources include guidance for teachers within a new Progression Framework.

Note: Currently CCEA's Progression Framework is non-statutory. This means that schools are not required to teach all of the content contained within it. Some schools, however, may choose to use some of the material contained within the framework. Each parent should consult with their child's school to see what materials are being used.

In the future CCEA's Progression Framework will form the basis for the new statutory Post Primary RSE Curriculum for Northern Ireland that is to be released by January 2024 This was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, during a Delegated Legislation Committee debate at Westminster on the 26th of June when he said:

"The Department of Education and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment have been developing an RSE progression framework that will be adapted and used in the guidance issued by the Department."

The adaptation that the Secretary of State requires to the CCEA Progression Framework is the inclusion of information on how pupils can access and perform their own abortions without parental knowledge or consent.

While some of the resources are good there are many resources that should rightly be a cause for concern for parents. Below highlights some of the major areas within the Progression Framework that parents should be concerned with. Each area is split by age group and shows what CCEA believes pupils at those age groups should be able to do or understand.

Key Stage 1 (Primary 3&4)

  • be able to list various family types and structures and explain them (for example two mothers, two fathers, adoption, fostering, single parent and kinship).
  • be able to name private parts of the male and female body and consolidate previous learning.
  • understand that it is okay to have funny names for private parts but that it is important that they know the proper names too.

Key Stage 2 (Primary 5-7)

  • understand what love and nurture mean in different contexts.
  • identify various family structures and diversity of relationships in the world today.
  • know the meaning of the terms heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
  • understand that how people look, how people behave, or their aspirations should not be limited by traditional expectations of what boys and girls should do.

Key Stage 3 (Years 8-10)

  • develop an understanding of sexual identity and be able to describe the terms associated with sex, gender and sexual orientation and give examples.
  • understand and respect the need for tolerance and acceptance towards various lifestyles, attitudes and values, and acknowledge the unacceptability of prejudice.
  • understand that the way individuals think of themselves or describe themselves to others in terms of their gender is unique to them and should be respected.
  • recognise bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying, cyberbullying etc., and their responsibilities, and develop coping strategies.

Key Stage 4 (Years 11-12)

  • describe the concepts of sexual identity, gender identity and sexual orientation
  • learn about diversity in sexual attraction, developing sexuality, the gender norms, gender equality, stereotypes, bias and gender-based violence (GBV)
  • understand ways that gender roles affect decisions about sexual behaviour, contraceptive use and life planning
  • analyse how more gender equal roles can contribute to a healthier sexual relationship.

Action Points

  • Find out if your school is using any of the CCEA RSE Hub Materials are being used by your child's school in their RSE lessons.
  • If so which materials are they using?
  • Address all communications to the Board of Governers.