Sex Ed funds withdrawn

SEX education funding has been pulled from Exmouth Community College but the school reassures it will continue to support its teenagers.

SEX education funding has been pulled from Exmouth Community College - but the school reassures it will continue to support its teenagers.Devon Primary Care Trust withdrew the annual �4,235 in funding it provided to the college for sexual and health classes for post-16-year-olds.However, the college re-assured parents that sexual health advice would still be available in the school, despite the large cut, and provided by the school nurses instead.With the withdrawal of funding, the school has scaled back its sexual health classes and will only be supported by the Withycombe Clinic.Assistant Principal Pat Haddon said: "We had been part of the programme for 11 years."Our school nurses are very supportive so we have reworked some of the material."It's quite a lot of money to lose but because we have the experts in the college and because we have a good personal development programme we should be fine."The college could not confirm whether it would provide any of the materials usually given out to students such as free condoms.In a letter sent to the college, Devon PCT said the funding was cut because it needed to "redirect resources towards funding high-quality sexual health services for young people where they are most needed (schools with students from wards with high levels of teenage conceptions) where there are currently no or low level on-site sexual health services.".The news came at a time when new government figures show that teenage pregnancies are rising.Although there are no figures for Exmouth, Devon County Council found that the rate for teenage pregnancies in Exeter was higher than the national average.The Devon PCT is the only one to provide the service Added Power and Understanding in Sex Education programme in the South West.They integrated peer education with contributions from local health services, and taught 390 students at the college.Virginia Pearson, director of public health at Devon PCT, said APAUSE was currently delivered in 70% of schools in Devon and had not necessarily been targeted to those schools in most need.

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