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Strengthening Relationships
and Sex Education


2015 | 17 February 2015


A report has been released today from the Commons Education Committee, highlighting the importance of making PSHE (and relationship and sex education) statutory in the curriculum for all schools, both primary and secondary. 

The report comes after a 2013 Ofsted report found that over a third of schools were not teaching children age-appropriate relationship and sex education. The only requirement for primary school was basic information included in the science curriculum, and the latest recommendations from the government are 14 years old, so the need for better RSE is clear. 

This is a landmark report, and it's important that it is seen by those high up in the government to ensure that our calls are taken seriously. Don't hesitate to get in contact with your MP to make sure that they support the cause. Click on the following link to send an email to your MP, lobbying them to get involved: http://act.lifewithhiv.org.uk/lobby/SREbills.

A key recommendation in the report was to change the name from SRE, to RSE, in order to emphasise the relationships element of the subject. We are thrilled with this development, as we believe that teaching the core values of relationships is vital in education. We recognise that understanding others and ourselves through healthy relationships forms the basis of RSE. 

Some more key recommendations of the report include: 

  • The Department for Education should develop a work plan for introducing PSHE and RSE as statutory subjects in primary and secondary schools
  • The funding of continuous professional development for PSHE teachers and school nurses should be reinstated 
  • Ofsted should resume its regular subject surveys of PSHE provision
  • The statutory requirement should have minimal prescription content to ensure that schools have flexibility to respond to local needs and priorities 
  • All schools should be required to run a regular consultation with parents on their RSE provision
  • The parental right to withdraw the child from elements of RSE should be retained 
  • The Government should endorse the RSE guidance produced by Brook, the Sex Education Forum and the PSHE Association and promote this more actively to schools and governors. 

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