Primary school teachers have instructed their union to campaign for the introduction of fact-based relationship and sexuality education in primary schools here.

The current RSE programme was published 24 years ago and is widely acknowledged to be out of date. Among the topics that it does not provide for is that of LGBT+ relationships.

A new programme has been under development for the past number of years and its publication is long anticipated.

Delegates at the INTO Congress in Killarney heard that the Programme for Government contains a commitment to "develop inclusive and age-appropriate RSE and Social and Personal Health Education curricula across primary and post-primary levels" to include a programme on LGBT+ relationships.

A resolution instructing the union's leadership to campaign to ensure that a fact-based health, relationships and sex education curriculum is rolled out during the lifetime of this Government was unanimously supported by delegates.

Rachel Allen, who teaches in a primary school in Tallaght, said that many teachers were very concerned about the lack of recognition and acknowledgement of LGBT relationships in schools here.

Referring to a survey by the campaigning organisation BeLongTo which found that 72% of students felt unsafe in schools, she said conversations about same sex relationships and LGBT+ needed to start from a young age.

"LGBT needs to be talked about so that children develop empathy and acceptance. It's not just about creating a welcoming environment," she said.