The Department for Education has unveiled a new direction for the curriculum on health, relationships and sex education.
Given the stretched start date announced for compulsory Relationships and Sex Education it is essential that momentum is not lost – time is still ticking for children and young people. High quality RSE, something the Sex Education Forum has repeatedly called for, will depend on investment in training for schools and we urge the Government to make a commitment to this.
It’s great news that health education is going to be guaranteed for all children and young people, helping them develop physical and mental wellbeing and to enjoy positive relationships. But there is a lot of detail that needs to be worked out too – for a start teachers are crying out for clear guidance on what exactly they should teach as they build their pupils’ understanding of complicated aspects of relationships and sex, from understanding puberty to protecting themselves from harm.
There is also a wider question of how other subjects including economic education fit into this new direction for the curriculum. Children have a right to an education that helps them develop essential life skills and prepares them for adulthood and this draft guidance will need careful consideration if we are really going to provide the ‘life-lessons’ that can prepare children and young people to be more competent adults.
We will be reacting to the new guidance in more detail, to keep up to date please engage with the Sex Education Forum at www.sexeducationforum.org.uk or follow us on Twitter via @sex_ed_forum.