Diverse sexuality and gender education may be taught to Australian students from as early as grade nine as part of the new national curriculum due in 2014.

The development comes in light of research showing less than one in five young people were able to access relevant information about gay and lesbian safe sex from school.

The 2010 Writing Themselves In 3 report found 44 percent of young LGBTI people did not find their sexuality education useful at all.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) released its ‘shape paper’ on health and physical education (HPE) last month.

As part of Year 9-10 HPE learning objectives, students may be taught about ‘sexuality, gender identity, sexual attitudes and behaviour’.

The paper is only a guide for curriculum writers who are expected to produce a draft by early next year for further public consultation.

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