One of the recommendations will allow schools to implement RSE regardless of the ethos of the school.
The Oireachtas Education Committee will recommend that RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) is done impartially to the school ethos in a new report set for publishing on Tuesday evening.
The report – which will list a range of changes – is expected to say that a school's ethos should no longer be used as a barrier to the "effective, objective, and factual" teaching about relationships and sexuality in schools, recommending instead that legislation should be updated to ensure that this is not the case.
It will recommend that legislative changes should be made "as soon as possible" and "at the latest" by the end of this year.
The Provision of Objective Sex Education Bill 2018 – fronted by TDs Paul Murphy, Bríd Smyth and Ruth Coppinger – which is based on the importance of updating the sexual education curriculum in Ireland, passed the committee stage of the Dáil in April 2018.
However, the government has not given a ‘money message’ for this Bill so it has not progressed onto formal committee stage.
A money message is a formal note to say that they will budget for any costs that arise from the change in the law.
As it stands, both Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) and Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) are mandatory for both primary and post-primary students - however, what is taught is largely up to the individual teacher and also there is a legal obligation to stay within the ethos of the school.
According to Education Minister Richard Bruton, certain elements of the RSE curriculum currently being taught in schools are up to 20 years old.
Oireachtas Education Cmte recommends legal changes to ensure factual, objective, high quality sex education. 2 All party committees recommending this now, yet, Leo Varadkar won't allow our #SexEdBill be considered by committee despite being voted for by Dáil. #dubw— Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) January 29, 2019
A spokesperson for Ruth Coppinger TD confirmed to Irish Tatler that the Solidarity Party will be pushing for the government to now progress with allocating funding and also for the Education Committee to have detailed scrutiny of the Bill.
"There has now been two all-party Oireachtas Committees that have recommended that RSE is done impartially to the school ethos, yet the government are not acting on this," the spokesperson said.
"We intend to raise much of this verbally in the Dáil on Thursday, and also on our social media in the coming day or so."
The decision to amend the bill follows a recommendation put forward by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, which called for a "thorough review of sexual health and relationship education, including the areas of contraception and consent".
Education Minister Richard Bruton brought the review into focus originally, focusing particularly on areas such as the meaning of consent, safe use of the internet, contraception and LGTBQ+ matters.