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Contraception advice for schools

A Catholic school in Oxford is one of six being considered to take part in a scheme which could see students texting a nurse for advice on emergency contraception.

A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council confirmed that St Gregory the Great school could take part in the pilot project, but the move has been criticised by a Catholic bishop.

Bishop William Kenney, who celebrates an annual Mass at the school, said: "It goes against the very central idea the Catholic Church has on human life.

"I don't think this will help solve the teenage pregnancy rate. I think it's taking away responsibility from parents."

Under the scheme, which is due to be introduced in July, pupils would be given access to the school nurse's mobile phone number to use when they needed advice on different issues, including contraception, out of school hours.

A joint statement from the council and Oxfordshire PCT said: "It is about providing access to advice on a wide range of health issues from a school health nurse outside the school setting, to support vulnerable young people who may need help outside of school hours."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Oxfordshire County Council

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I agree with the  bishop. School nurses are meant to give advice during school hours when they are in "loco parentis", which means in place of the parents. I would love to know if the teachers are going to give out their mobile numbers for worried students to get advice on studying etc. I think not, as that's what the parents are for are they not?" – Stella Welsh, Glasgow