FSRH consultation response: FPA and FSRH call for guidance to have more clarity on parental right to withdraw children from RSE lessons in Wales

Posted 4 April 2019

Date: 04 Apr 2019

Type: FSRH Consultation Responses

In joint response with the Family Planning Association (FPA) to the consultation on the new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) guidance by the Welsh Government, we evidenced the risks of parents being able to withdraw their children from RSE. We strongly recommended that instead the guidance should encourage schools to work with parents to reiterate the benefits of RSE and ensure as few children as possible miss out on their right to education.

The new draft guidance changes the name of the area of study from “Sex and Relationships Education” to “Relationships and Sexuality Education”. It aims to support schools in implementing a ‘whole school approach’ to RSE taking into account curriculum, wider school policies, external sources of support and case studies demonstrating best practice.

In firmly endorsing the response of the Family Planning Association (FPA), we also made the following recommendations: 

• Welcoming the intention of enabling a “whole-school approach”, we identified key areas where this could be more coherent throughout the guidance. 

• We strongly recommended that the guidance makes clear that schools must only work with external providers who use medically-accurate and evidence-based information and resources. FSRH and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have recently launched an abortion factsheet to support RSE lessons in secondary schools. It is available here.

• More broadly we evidenced the need to ensure factually-based and medically-accurate education throughout RSE, evidencing the importance of accurate education on abortion, contraception and gender-based violence in schools.

You can download our response below.

You can read more about the consultation here.