The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a consultation 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 have made clear in joint response the need for well-evidenced factual, unbiased and accurate information to form the basis of both RSE and Relationships education.
Though we welcome the publication of the guidance and look forward to playing a role in its implementation, FSRH and RCOG identified several points where the draft guidance is at odds with what has been presented to the DfE by the experts in this field.
Key points included:
- A recommendation for schools to be advised to choose their RSE resources from reputable sources i.e. only organisations which are evidence-based and medically accurate. We also strongly advised schools to be provided with adequate training.
- Within this context we highlighted an FSRH and RCOG free, evidence-based factsheet on abortion care to support teachers in secondary schools. It is supported by the PSHE Association and Sex Education Forum. This resource provides accurate information and objective facts about abortion care, informing about what an abortion is, how it is performed and what the entitlements are within the context of abortion care. The factsheet will soon be available here.
- In not insisting on the compulsory status of sex education in primary schools, the new guidance is a regression from the Department for Education’s 2000 Sex and Relationships Education Guidance as well as the more recent comprehensive approach outlined in Sex and Relationships Education for the 21st Century . With this in mind FSRH and RCOG made clear children of primary school age should be taught correct, non-euphemistic names for sexual parts of the body and learn about puberty before its onset.
This consultation follows the Government’s recent call for evidence to inform the content of this draft guidance, to which FSRH and RCOG have also responded.
You can download our submission below.