Relationships, Education, Health Education and Non-Statutory Sex Education (RSHE)
Department for Education (DfE) statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education including non-statutory Sex Education
From September 2020, schools will have to teach Relationships and Health ~Education. You can read about the changes in this DfE guide for parents here:
The DfE also strongly encourages primary schools to deliver sex education to help prepare children for their transition to secondary school.
Most schools are already delivering very effective Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and the new guidance is simply about ensuring that all children get the information they need and want. The lessons will help children learn about their bodies including the changes that take place at puberty, and will keep them safe, so they can form healthy relationships (friendships) with others, now and in the future.
At Harwood Park Primary School, we have chosen to use the SCARF scheme of work to deliver RSE. We were already using SCARF to deliver our PHSE curriculum so we have used their SRE resources to teach the additional content identified in the new statutory requirements and renamed the subject RHE.
More information about Coram Life Education and SCARF can be found on their website https://www.coramlifeeducation.org.uk/
Current government Sex and Relationships Education guidance states that children should learn about puberty before they experience it, but clearly this isn’t happening in some schools – one of the reasons for making this subject statutory in all schools is so important.
We also know that RSE has a protective factor when it comes to safeguarding children. 1 in 20 children are sexually abused and 1 in 3 of these do not report this to an adult. Sexual abuse can happen to any child; the best way to safeguard children is to ensure that they receive information on naming parts of their body, knowing the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touch, and having the skills and confidence to find and talk to a trusted adult to report any abuse.
Research now shows that children with better health (including mental health) and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically. By learning positive relationships, respect for themselves and others, and behaving appropriately and safely online, they are better able to enjoy their friendships and therefore focus more at school.
There is some concern that RSE in school might promote sexual experimentation or cause confusion about and individual’s sexuality. Research on quality relationships and Sex Education in the UK by the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles team consistently shows that men and women who reported that lessons at school were their main source of information about sex were more likely to have started having sex at a later age than for those whom parents or other sources were their main source.
We recognise that parents play a vital part in their child’s RSE, and we encourage you to discuss these themes with your child at home as well. If further guidance or support is required, or if you have any questions about the programme or would like to view the resources, please don’t hesitate to contact school.
PSHE and RSE Policy
Our current PSHE and RSE Policy which comes under the umbrella term of Relationships and Health Education (RHE) at Harwood Park will be ratified by governors in the summer term following consultation with parents.
Parents are encouraged to read our RHE policy and curriculum overview (below) and communicate via the MS TEAMS survey:
The DfE recommends that all primary schools should have a sex education programme, tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils. This information builds on content they have previously learnt in the programme about relationships, puberty changes and reproduction; it lays the foundations for their ongoing Relationships and Sex Education in their secondary phase.
Parental concerns and withdrawal of students
Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of the non-statutory Sex Education our school teaches but not Relationships Education. They do not have a right to withdraw their children from those aspects of Sex Education that are taught in the statutory National Curriculum Science and Health Education. Parents are invited to view our resources and discuss any concerns with our staff.