Pupils 'should be educated about porn'

Pupils should not be prevented from watching porn, but rather educated about the subject, according to a new report.

It states that teachers should make their students aware of the differences between what they see on the internet and real-life relationships.

The government-backed report recommends schools teach pupils about how porn gives a distorted image of sex.

It also advises that high school students who become addicted to watching sexually-explicit videos should be referred to an adult who won't judge them, in order to discuss the dangers of certain images.

The coalition government signalled its support for the recommendations as it believes sex education needs to be brought into the 21st century.

It represents the first attempt to update such classes for the first time in 14 years after it was published on Friday (February 28th).

Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, said: "It is vital that we safeguard the health and wellbeing of our young people to help them get on in life.

"We need all schools teaching sex and relationships education that is absolutely up to date, particularly when teenagers' lives are so dominated by advances in technology."

The report also makes recommendations aimed at primary schools, suggesting that pupils should be taught about body image and consent - with a focus on respectful relationships.

In high school, students should then begin to learn more about pornography, while advising on things such as peer-pressure and not making others feel uncomfortable.

Discussions about "sexting", explicit text messages or even images being sent through mobile devices, could also be incorporated into lessons.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "We think expert groups have a valuable role to play in helping schools deliver sex and relationships education."

However, some organisations have criticised the report and urged schools not to comply with the recommendations set out by the body.

Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said it was inappropriate for schools to discuss such issues with children.