FSRH welcomes Government statement on statutory relationships and sex education

Posted 2 March 2017

Date: 02 Mar 2017

Type: FSRH News and Information

Today Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, has announced that from 2019 every child aged over 4 in England will be taught age-appropriate relationship and sex education (RSE).

In her statement Greening sets out that from September 2019 all primary schools in England will teach age-appropriate ‘relationships education’ and all secondary schools in England will teach age-appropriate ‘relationships and sex education’. The statement also outlines that new legislation will be applicable to all schools, including academies and independent schools, meaning that every child will be able to access consistent and accurate relationships and sex education irrespective of school setting.

FSRH is delighted at the Government’s announcement that relationships and sex education will be made statutory, and that Personal, Social, Health and Economics education (the subject in which RSE is usually taught) may too be open to a formal strengthening of status. With a rapidly changing technological landscape that young people have to navigate on a daily basis, it is important that they are equipped with the tools and information to cultivate safe, healthy relationships with their peers and have the knowledge to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health.

FSRH President, Dr Asha Kasliwal, commented:

“The Government’s decision to make relationships and sex education statutory is a positive step towards empowering all young people to take full control of their sexual and reproductive health and make informed decisions that enable them to pursue their professional, educational and familial ambitions.

Of course, it is important to note that children of primary school age will only receive age-appropriate relationship education. We hope that this will complement and foreshadow the sex education that children will receive at secondary school as opposed to creating an artificial separation between two intrinsically linked parts of RSE as a holistic, educational package.

This development follows dedicated campaigns and gathering of evidence from across the SRH and education sector. We are proud to have supported our colleagues at FPA, Sex Education Forum, THT and PSHE Association in their campaigns to make statutory RSE a reality for children and young people across England.

Now, we look to the Government in next week’s budget to invest in relationship and sex education and ensure that education professionals receive the adequate training and resource needed to deliver high-quality RSE to England’s young people.“


Notes to editors:

  • 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 plus  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 of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. For more information please visit: www.fsrh.org