As you may already be aware, the Department for Education has announced changes to relationships and sex education following nationwide consultation. These changes will come into effect from September 2021 and all schools will be required to comply with the updated requirements. The statutory guidance can be found at:
The new guidance focuses on healthy relationships and keeping children safe in the modern world. It also covers a wide range of topics relating to physical and mental health, wellbeing, safeguarding and healthy relationships.
Learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up will give children and young people the information, skills and positive values to have safe, fulfilling relationships and help them take responsibility for their own well-being.
Consequently, from September 2021, Relationships, along with Health Education, will be statutory, and form part of the National Curriculum. For Secondary schools Sex Education will also become statutory. However, the DfE continue to recommend that all primary schools should have a sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils. Where schools provide sex education at key stages 1 and 2, parents will have the right to withdraw their child from sex education but not from statutory Relationships Education, Health Education or what is taught in the Science National curriculum.
This means that we have been reviewing our RSE (Relationship and Sex Education) curriculum and policy so we can be sure our RSE provision is appropriate for our pupils based on their:
Whilst we are sure that there will be differences of opinion about this, we hope that consulting with you will help to inform our schools’ decisions on when and how certain content is covered, and enable us to reach a general consensus. Consequently, as part of our curriculum review we would appreciate your views on our draft policy for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
What is taught, and how, is ultimately a decision for the school and consultation does not provide a parental veto on curriculum content as schools are legally required to teach the National Curriculum. The right to withdraw children from some lessons is explained within the policy and FAQs which you will have access to.
As a school community, we are currently in unprecedented times which makes it a little more challenging to consult with you. To help you understand the curriculum requirements, you will have access to the relevant information which we would encourage you to read. Part of this is a presentation for parents which we would ordinarily have shared with you in person, and another sheet which aims to respond to the questions that we anticipated might be asked. We will share with you:
Your views are very important to us and we will respond to you on the outcome of this process later this term. Once we have considered all the feedback, the finalised Relationships and Sex Education Policy will be uploaded to the school’s website which will also set out the proposed curriculum.
We hope this information goes some way to answer any questions you may have.