The Children and Social Work Act 2017 placed a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to make the new subjects of Relationships Education at primary and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at secondary mandatory. Relationships and Sex Education will replace SRE. Parliament voted in support of the Government’s proposal that all primary schools would be required to teach Relationships Education.
The Government want to support all young people to stay safe and prepare for life in modern Britain by ensuring Relationships Education (Primary) is taught in all Primary Schools. This was based on the fact that children need more support whilst growing up in an increasingly complex and digital world. Whilst the internet can be a positive in our lives, it does present significant challenges, particularly for young people. With the use of social media, cyber-bullying and the risk that children learn about relationships from untrustworthy sources – it was felt that young people need support to make the right decisions and keep themselves safe and happy. This evidence was supported by the many calls for compulsory SRE and/or PSHE from leading parent representative bodies, as well as leading education and safeguarding organisations, such as teaching unions and charities. These calls were supported by young people themselves.
The DfE have set out their reasons below:
“We are clear on the themes and issues schools should cover to achieve this. Relationships and RSE will be age-appropriate, build knowledge and life skills over time in a way that prepares pupils for issues they will soon face. The subjects will likely focus on:
- different types of relationships, including friendships, family relationships, dealing with strangers and, at secondary school, intimate relationships;
- how to recognise, understand and build healthy relationships, including self respect and respect for others, commitment (including marriage and civil partnerships), boundaries and consent, tolerance, and how to manage conflict, and also how to recognise unhealthy relationships, including bullying, coercion and exploitation;
- healthy relationships and safety online, including use of social media, cyberbullying, sexting;
- how relationships may affect health and wellbeing, including the importance of good mental health and resilience”
A scheme called, “Teaching SRE with Confidence”, which will cover the required elements of relationship education will be covered across the Federation from this term. A brief outline of what we will be covering is set out below.
· “Our Day“
· “Keeping Ourselves Clean”
· “Keeping Clean”
· “Growing and changing”
· “Families and Care”
· “Differences Boys and Girls”
· “Differences Male and Female”
· “Naming the Body Parts”
· “Differences Male and Female”
· “Personal Space”
· “Family Differences”
· “Growing and Changing”
· “What is Puberty?”
· “Puberty, Changes and Reproduction”
· “Talking about Puberty”
· “Male and Female Changes”
· “Puberty and Hygiene”
· “Puberty and Reproduction”
· Understanding Relationships”
· “Conception and Pregnancy”
· “Communicating in Relationships”
SRE and PSHE are designed to ensure pupils are taught the knowledge and life skills they will need to stay safe and develop healthy and supportive relationships, particularly dealing with the challenges of growing up in an online world. In primary schools, the focus is on building healthy relationships and staying safe. The curriculum we will follow is designed to be at an age appropriate level to ensure our children have the information they need to know as they progress through school.
The Government have committed to retaining a parent’s right to withdraw their child from sex education within RSE (other than sex education in the National Curriculum as part of 1 Statutory guidance – Sex and relationship education (July 2000) science), but not from relationships education at primary.
Parents wishing to withdraw their child in line with the guidance above should do the following:
- Ask to see a copy of the schools RSE policy and schemes of work.
- Ask the school for an appointment to see a member of staff concerning withdrawing their child from the specified elements of RSE.
- Following the meeting if they still wish to withdraw their child, they will put their request in
writing stating which part of the programme they wish their child to be excluded from.
We do, however, hope all parents will see the value of this education for all of our children.
We will share information on the website and with parents as we progress with this, but please do ask if you have any questions.
You can also see information from the DfE on their website by searching ‘sex and relationships education’.
These websites may also help you:
For further information about our selected RSE curriculum click here.