The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has stressed its concern that the falling number of school nurses could lead to a lack of ‘essential’ education of sex and relationships.
Citing a range of analyses, the RCN acknowledges the latest NHS workforce statistics published last month demonstrates the number of school nursing posts has fallen by 13 per cent since 2010; with just 2,606 now left in the NHS. In addition, a shocking BBC investigation recently conducted also found that there were 5,500 sexual assaults in the school environment during a three-year period.
RCN Professional Lead for Children and Young People’s Nursing, Fiona Smith: “School nurses are there for all children and young people, providing support, encouraging healthy lifestyles and protecting those who are most vulnerable. They have the training and expertise to really drive forward effective SRE in schools, but with numbers dropping all the time school nurses simply don’t have the capacity to follow this through.”
She continued: “The Government should be prioritising this expertise – not cutting the roles when we need them most. The RCN supports the call for compulsory SRE in all schools, but we need the workforce that can deliver this crucial aim and make sure all children and young people are safe and healthy.”