Relationships Education Policy (Primary) - September 2020
Published on 24/10/19
From September 2020, all primary schools will be required to teach Relationships Education. They will also be required to have a policy published on their website setting out how they intend to approach the subject.
What is Relationships Education?
The curriculum of Relationships Education will have some overlap with the existing PSHE curriculum but will be updated for the 21st century and will become compulsory within all schools.
In primary school, this subject will cover topics such as:
- Families and carers
- Online Relationships
- Being Safe
- Mental Wellbeing
- Internet Safety and Harms
- Physical Health and Fitness
- Healthy Eating
- Facts and Risks Associated with Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
- Health and Prevention
- Basic First Aid
- The Changing Adolescent Body
Do parents get a say on this new policy?
Even though the subject will be compulsory, the law requires primary schools to consult with parents on their Relationships Education policy - giving them the option to give their views on on the proposals. This gives schools the opportunity to consider these views and balance them with the needs of the pupil and the school.
Ultimately, it is for schools to decide the way they approach this area of the curriculum, having taken these views on board, but it is the right of the parents to be included in the initial discussions and proposals.
Please Note: With regards to Sex Education (a separate topic to Relationships Education), the decision to teach this subject is made by individual primary schools and is not a required primary school subject by law. Parents have the option to withdraw their child from these lessons and, at primary level, the head teacher must grant this request.
How is best to communicate this with parents?
The ways that schools can engage with parents on the proposed policies include, but are not limited to:
- Posting the draft policy online and inviting feedback via a questionnaire form
- Emailing parents requesting their thoughts in response
- Gathering information through parents evening events
- Asking existing parental groups for their thoughts and feedback
- Informing parents of updates within the school newsletter
- Sending letters home advising of the proposed changes
- Inviting parents to face to face forums, workshops and discussion groups
- Writing blog posts to outline the proposals and next steps
- Sending text messages and push notification reminders to keep parents informed of upcoming events
- Using social media to keep your community updated
Further Information and Guidance
To read the full DfE guidance on Parental Engagement on Relationships Education, please visit their website.
For further information, the DFE advise the following resources:
- Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education: Statutory Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education
- Relationships, Sex and Health Education: Guides for Schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-sex-and-health-education-guides-for-schools
- Data Management Advice:
- Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s primary school: a guide for parents
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