Draft RSE guidance

Posted on

What was last weeks’ announcement about?
– New draft guidance is now available for schools – it covers Relationships Education, RSE and a new subject – Health Education.
– The guidance is relevant to all schools in England
– A public consultation on the draft is open until 7th November 2018 – you can take part and see the documents here:

– This is not the final RSE guidance, but it gives a clear indication of the direction of travel.

When does statutory RSE take effect?
The announcement explained that schools that are ready to deliver high quality RSE from September 2019 should do so, those needing more time to prepare can focus on September 2020 which will be the start of mandatory provision for all schools. The coming academic year is therefore a key period for preparation.

Is there a new programme of study?
Tables in the draft guidance list what children should know by the time they leave primary school and by the time they leave secondary school. There is not a year-by-year programme of study, but the guidance also says that learning needs to start at the beginning of primary.

What is included in Relationships Education at primary level?
Relationships Education will be mandatory for both primary and secondary schools. The primary Relationships Education curriculum covers ‘families and people who care for me’, friendships – including bullying, online relationships and staying safe.

What is included in primary sex education?
Primary schools are recommended to have a programme of sex education which includes preparing pupils for the changes adolescence brings and learning how a baby is conceived and born.

What about puberty?
Puberty is included under Health Education at both primary and secondary level.

What is included under Relationships for secondary level?
The themes introduced at primary are developed through secondary RSE, with more in-depth learning about areas such as stereotypes, the law and equality.

What about sexual and reproductive health?
There is a substantial list of knowledge that should be taught to support good sexual health: the facts about the full range of contraceptive choices; the facts around pregnancy including miscarriage and; that there are choices in relation to pregnancy; information on STI transmission, prevention, treatment, prevalence and also how to get help from services. This is supported by sections on consent, with emphasis on being able to actively communicate and recognise consent from others.

Is the guidance LGBT inclusive?
LGBT issues are described as something that should be integral, not taught as a one off lesson.

Are there changes to parental right of withdrawal?
Yes. The proposal is that parents will only be able to excuse their child from the sex education part of the curriculum (but not from national curriculum Science), and not from Relationships Education at either level.
[Sex Education Forum]