Reminder – Consent Talks Taking Place This Week

November 21, 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians,


We are delighted to announce that we have a Psychologist, Susan Quain, coming to the school to discuss the topic of Sexual Consent with each individual year group on Thursday the 30th of November. 


Susan is employed as a psychologist in a specialist unit that works with young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour.  She provides therapeutic interventions for young people and their families that have come to the attention of Gardai or social services for harmful sexual behaviour or sexual abuse. 


She has a BSc in psychology and has completed a Masters Degree looking at the impact of sexual health programs for young people with intellectual disabilities. She has presented at international conferences (NOTA National organisation for the treatment of abuse) on the topic of preventing harmful sexual behaviour in schools. 


In tandem with this Susan is a qualified primary school teacher with over 10 years teaching experience. During her teaching career Susan was RSE (Relationship Sexual Education) lead in her school and has completed all Department of Education training in RSE. She is passionate about following a prevention method and educating young people about consent. There is no doubt that Susan has the qualifications, experience and sensitivity to deliver this delicate but important content.


Susan will do a 40 minute talk with each group and she will cover the following topics:


1) Introduction (her work with a specialist service dealing with young people who have engaged with Harmful Sexual Behaviour)

2) What is Consent? (Active, honest, conscious, voluntary, sober and ongoing). This section will cover examples of what might bring young people to the attention of Gardai 

3) Indecent image sharing. This section will cover the law and what might get young people into trouble and the consequences

4) Pornography. This section will look at how porn can be traumatising and can have a very negative impact on a young person’s perception of what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. 


Susan will be meeting the pastoral care team in advance to discuss appropriate modification of the programme for our younger students. We would like to assure parents that the discussion around porn will be age appropriate and will be delivered in a very compassionate and gentle way. The parental worry might be that their son/daughter might be ‘introduced to porn’ at the talk but research highlights that the average age reported for the first time viewing pornography is 12 and that it is imperative for parents and caregivers to talk to young people about pornography sooner rather than later as it impacts their wellbeing, relationships, brain development and understanding of the opposite sex. 


Please see link to view the research study’s%20key%20findings%20highlight,first%20viewing%20pornography%20is%2012 


If for any reason you do not want your son/daughter to attend the talk, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing me at 


Finally, as this rare and wonderful opportunity to safeguard our students from potential harm is an ad hoc experience we would like to ask for a contribution from parents/guardians to cover the cost. Regina has set up a €3 payment on the app or if you do not wish your son/daughter to attend you can ‘Opt Out’.


If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or any member of the wellbeing or pastoral care team.


Kind regards,



Joanne Whelan

Guidance Counsellor

Salesian Secondary College