About Me

Brigid is the creator of the unique rse4schools programme, the first Irish Relationship and Sexuality Education programme that promotes a partnership approach among parents, teachers, and school authorities. With 20+ years’ experience in facilitating parenting and sex education programmes, Brigid has introduced sexual education into the lives on children in over 30 schools across the Cavan-Monaghan-Leitrim region. Brigid advocates that sex education is something ongoing, something that begins when a child is born and continues right through adolescence and young adulthood. The rse4schools programme builds on an aspiration to intrinsically link sexuality education in the classroom to the home environment.

Connecting Parenting to Sex Ed

Brigid contends that at the heart of sexuality education is the competence of the educators. She argues, that many parents grew up with very little sex education. That many parents report they fill ill equipped and uncomfortable when it comes to parenting about sexual issues. Internet access and social media, an accepted part of the culture of young people’s lives has brought new challenges to sex education. Relationships and sexuality is shaped by a person’s values, attitudes, behaviours, emotions, personality, faith, and physiological aspects of the being. Hence, key to the rse4schools programme is the incorporation of a special educational component for parents, intended to cultivate a collaborative and supportive climate for sexuality education in the home and school.

Academic Journey

Brigid’s academic journey has run in parallel to her teaching career in sex education. Brigid has studied aspects of adolescents, sexual behaviour and learning, and parents’ role in sex education on her own learning journey to acquiring a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Studies, and Masters in Applying Psychology to Education in Queen’s University, Belfast. Brigid undertook a pioneering research study: ‘Relationships, pornography, oral sex education: What can’t parents’ talk about?’ as part of her Master’s degree. The study found parents needed information on some contemporary issues such as; pornography and oral sex education. Also, examples of age appropriate language, and help in how to broach sensitive conversation with their children. Some parents stated they needed help in understanding their own emotions about sex and sexuality before they talk with their child on the topic.