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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 March, 2005, 09:08 GMT
Survey seeks sex education views
Efforts are being intensified to curb teenage pregnancies
Parents in Glasgow are being asked to give their opinions of sex lessons and sexual health educations in schools.

The survey is being led by the Teenage Pregnancy Steering Group, formed by Glasgow City Council and officials from NHS Greater Glasgow.

The aim is to use the findings to improve services provided by the authorities and to advise parents.

Scotland has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe and STDs have been rising in recent years.

Deputy council leader Jim Coleman said: "This is far from being just about education in the classroom.

Parents can now inform the way future health services are developed
Tom Divers
NHS Greater Glasgow

"It's also about what support parents want and need from us so they can talk to their children about these issues at home."

He continued: "Research tells us that the more involved a parent is in this type of education, the better the child's sexual health outcome.

"Children with parental support and guidance are more likely to delay the onset of first sexual activity or, at the very least, take precautions when they do become sexually active."

'Vital role'

Head of NHS Greater Glasgow Tom Divers added: "By recognising that parents play a vital role in the development of their children's understanding of sexual health matters, the steering group have developed this questionnaire.

"Parents can now inform the way future health services and council services are developed and delivered."

The survey is also supported by parents' leaders.

Judith Gillespie, of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said: "We welcome Glasgow's efforts to contact parents and find out what they think about sexual health issues for their children.

"Both the city council and NHS Greater Glasgow are to be congratulated on being so active in seeking parents' views and we hope that parents will respond positively and take up this opportunity to help shape the way the strategy is developed in the future."

Ministers underlined last month that young people should be informed about sexual health services and have access to them.

Catholic church anger

The Action Plan for Improving Sexual Health stressed the need for respect and taking responsibility for sexual health.

The issue of sex education, particularly in Catholic schools, has already provoked controversy.

The policy aims to tackle the causes behind the incidence of sexually transmitted infections across all age groups and unintended teenage pregnancies.

The Scottish NHS Confederation appealed for "full, unequivocal backing" for NHS boards in implementing the proposals.

The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV welcomed the move as a "fantastic milestone" for sexual health in Scotland.

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