Government RSE announcements and guidance consultation

Government RSE announcements and guidance consultation

  • Draft guidance on compulsory Relationships and Sex Education published to make sure education prepares young people for life in 21st Century
  • Health Education will also be made compulsory in all schools
  • Consultation asks for views from teachers, parents and young people on new subject guidance – including teaching about consent and cyberbullying

In an announcement which confirms a phased start date for RSE to be mandatory in all schools, the Government has introduced a new subject, Health Education, which will be mandatory alongside RSE and Relationships Education. Details of the updated RSE guidance have also been revealed, and will be the first changes to the Secretary of State's guidance since 2000. The consultation on the draft guidance ended on 7 November 2018. 

Schools that are ready to provide high quality RSE by September 2019 are being strongly encouraged to do so, but the extension to 2020 for the statutory requirement aims to give schools needing more support the time to get their provision right. 

Included in what will have to be delivered:

  • features of healthy friendships, family relationships and other relationships
  • how relationships can affect physical and mental health
  • staying safe online
  • how to use technology safely, responsibly and respectfully
  • how to keep personal information private
  • healthy eating
  • keeping fit
  • prevention of health problems
  • recognition of mental health and ways to support good mental health
  • consent
  • development of qualities such as confidence, resilience, self-respect
  • wider social and economic issues

The proposals, which follow the publication of the Childhood Obesity Plan and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper, will ensure that the importance of good physical and mental health are an integral part of the updated subjects.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

“I want to make sure that our children are able to grow up to become happy and well-rounded individuals who know how to deal with the challenges of the modern world. Part of this is making sure they are informed about how to keep themselves safe and healthy and have good relationships with others.

“Many of today’s problems did not exist when we last gave schools guidance on how to teach Relationships and Sex Education 18 years ago. The action we’re taking is important to help support teachers and schools design a curriculum that will enrich their pupils in an age appropriate way.

“Good physical and mental health is also at the heart of ensuring young people are ready for the adult world. By making health education compulsory we are giving young people the tools they need to be ready to thrive when they leave school.”

PLease click the links below for all the relevant documents: 

consultation questions