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Back to basics

Welcome back to my blog and I can’t believe it is so long since I last posted anything!  I am hoping to rectify that and have a few posts planned for the coming weeks.

We are living in extremely strange times at the moment and doing any sort of forward planning is very difficult.  However, at the time of writing as far as I know the introduction of statutory Relationships (and Sex) Education and Health Education will still happen in September.  From contacts I have had with schools and things I have read I know many people are working hard, in difficult circumstances, to be ready. However, there still seems to be some confusion on what is expected, as I cannot deliver face to face training at the moment, I thought I would use my blog to answer some frequently asked questions.

Let’s start by going back to basics as there still seems to be confusion over the names given to these important subject areas.

Relationship education will be statutory in both primary and secondary schools and covers all aspects of relationships including family and friendships. Sex education is statutory in Secondary schools and is recommended in primary schools.  In a future blog I will look in more detail at what is included in sex education and what primary schools should consider including.  This is commonly abbreviated to RSE.

Health education is statutory in primary and secondary schools and includes all aspects of health i.e. physical and mental health.  Puberty is included in both phases and is therefore statutory.

The full detail of the statutory content for both primary and secondary schools can be found within the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory guidance 2019  This should be used as the first point of reference when planning content.

A quality programme of PSHE (Personal. Social, Health and Economic) education has always included the above aspects and more.  The government guidance says that many schools will find PSHE education the most effective way to deliver the statutory content. I would recommend delivering PSHE education which includes all the statutory areas as well as other topics children and young people need to learn about to live happy, healthy and successful lives such as finance and safety.

For primary schools I would also recommend including Citizenship in this programme as traditionally it was part of PSHE education in fact many schools referred to PSHCE education.  The Ofsted framework for Personal Development is clear that children should be developing Citizenship skills.  In secondary schools Citizenship is a statutory National Curriculum subject and has a programme of study.

All of this should fit in with a wider programme of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development.  PSHE education and Citizenship make a significant contribution to SMSC development but it should also be included in all subjects as well as wider aspects of school life.

In my next blog I will look at the requirements for policies to cover these areas.

If you have any other questions you would like to see included please email me