Nicky Morgan
Education secretary Nicky Morgan wants schools to teach a "curriculum for life" (Getty)

Schoolchildren should be taught about modern issues like "sexting" and revenge porn as part of a so-called "curriculum for life", according to Nicky Morgan.

The education secretary warned that students need more help from schools to deal with modern issues, which arise from new technologies and the internet.

The senior Tory cited research from children's charity the NSPCC, which found that 60% of teenagers have been asked for sexual images or videos online.

"Let's be clear that the internet and the advance of the digital age are things to celebrate and embrace, but let us not deny that they bring new pressures that require new responses too," Morgan said.

The education secretary also reiterated her call to teach "British values" in schools to combat extremism.

"Who truly can object to our schools being required to promote the very values that everyone in this room holds dear? Democracy. The rule of law. Individual liberty. Tolerance of and respect for those with different faiths and beliefs," she said.

"I am clear that schools have a critical role to play in turning out rounded, resilient young people that can face the challenges of the modern world with confidence."

Morgan, speaking at a Bright Blue think tank event attended by IBTimes UK, also criticised politicians who opposed the idea of modernity and stressed that it was important that schoolchildren learnt about sex and healthy relationships in the classroom.

"I want more schools to put high-quality PSHE [personal, social, health and economic education] at the heart of their curriculum. It is an essential part of their responsibility to prepare young people for life in modern Britain," Morgan said.

The comments come after the families of three Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls, who fled to Syria to join Islamic State (Isis), appeared before MPs in the House of Commons.

As part of the Home Affairs Committee session, Met assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said Shamima Begum (15), Amira Abada (15) and Kadiza Sultana (16) had stolen family jewellery to fund their flights to the Middle East.