FSRH press statement: FSRH welcomes the updated RSE guidance
Date: 26 Feb 2019
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
The Department for Education (DfE) has just released updated statutory guidance on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). FSRH welcomes the announcement and highlights that the new abortion factsheet developed by FSRH and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is a valuable resource to help teachers to provide factual RSE lessons.
The updated guidance by DfE comes after a call for evidence and further consultation last year. In our response to the consultation, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) emphasised the need for high-quality and evidence-based RSE lessons based on reputable sources that are medically accurate and taught by teachers who are appropriately trained. We also highlighted the need to teach pupils in secondary schools about the range of available contraceptive methods and how to access them.
Dr Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:
“FSRH welcomes the announcement by the Department for Education on the updated guidance for Relationships Education in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education in secondary schools. We look forward to working with our members and playing a role in its implementation.
“Key to guarantee effective implementation of the guidance will be to ensure that schools are appropriately resourced. Medically accurate information about sex and reproduction is essential, and there is a need for training and professional development to support teachers. The new abortion factsheet developed by FSRH and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is a valuable resource to help teachers to provide factual lessons on reproductive health.
“High-quality RSE is crucial to support young people to avoid unplanned pregnancies. Evidence shows that young women who get their information on sexual and reproductive health primarily from schools report a lower range of negative health outcomes in this area, not least teenage pregnancies.
“Schools should be clearly guided towards setting aside dedicated and designated time for the teaching of RSE.”
Alison Hadley, Director of Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange (TPKE) at the University of Bedfordshire, said:
“Statutory RSE in all schools is a huge step towards ensuring future generations of children and young people have the knowledge, skills and confidence to safely navigate their own path in relationships and sexual health. All the evidence shows that RSE is protective but the impact will only be realised if schools are resourced and teachers are trained to deliver high quality teaching.”
Notes to editors:
- The consultation by DfE was held in autumn 2018 following Parliament’s decision to make Relationships Education mandatory in all primary schools, and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) mandatory in secondaries.
- FSRH and RCOG joint consultation response can be found here
- DfE’s updated guidance can be found here
- FSRH and RCOG launched a free resource on abortion care to support teachers with RSE lessons in secondary schools in the UK. The joint FSRH-RCOG factsheet aims to ensure that professionals involved in educating young people about pregnancy choices have a factually accurate, unbiased and evidence-based source of information about abortion care in the UK. It counters myths such as that abortion causes infertility, breast cancer and mental illness. The FSRH-RCOG abortion leaflet is officially endorsed by PHE, Sex Education Forum and PSHE Association.
- You can read more about the Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange (TPKE) at the University of Bedfordshire here
- The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members, to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.
For further information please contact:
FSRH External Affairs & Standards Manager