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Hadleigh High School

Relationships, Sex and Health Education

From September 2020, Relationships and Sex Education (RSHE) will become statutory in all secondary schools in England. As part of our work to ensure that we are meeting this requirement, we would like to give you some information about what exactly is changing and what we are expected to teach our students.

What is changing?

From 2020, the following subjects will become compulsory in applicable schools in England: 

  • Relationship and Sex Education in secondary schools 
  • Health Education in state funded secondary schools 

These subjects will support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe, equipping them for life as an adult in British society. Some parts of the new curriculum, as with the current curriculum, are compulsory. These are part of the national curriculum for science. This is set out in the Department for Education's (DfE) guidance, which will replace the current SRE guidance

Why is it changing?

There is research evidence that suggests that Relationships and Sex Education can help students make informed decisions to keep themselves safe when it comes to recognising sexual abuse or using contraception and it can potentially result in delaying the age of their first experience of sexual intercourse (DfE, 2019). You can see this evidence on the following graph created by the Sex Education Forum which analyses the results of the latest Natsal (National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles) survey:

For more information on this, you can visit: 


What is being taught?

Relationships and Sex education is part of the RSHE programme which is primarily delivered in PSHE lessons.  At KS3 it deals with the biological study of human reproduction from conception to birth and parent care. The physical and emotional changes associated with growing up and relationships are considered and contraception is dealt with simply and openly.  
At KS4 Sex Education is developed with reference to relationships, aspects of health and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.  Inevitably, some aspects of Sex Education will be met in other subject areas such as Science, English and Religious Education.
Great importance is placed upon responsibility, understanding and sensitivity to others.? In line with Department for Education guidelines, we are careful to provide correct information and dispel myths in accordance with the professional discretion of the teacher.

Changes to the right to withdraw

Parents/carers will have the right to withdraw their child from part or all of the sex education delivered as part of RSE.? When the new requirements come into place, parents/carers can do this until 3 terms before their child turns 16. After that, it will be the child's decision.? Currently, the SRE guidance does not set any age limit for withdrawing a child from sex education. 

Parents cannot withdraw their child from the Relationships or Health education part of RSHE nor from the sex education elements of the Science curriculum.  

Below there is an opportunity to read our PSHE Policy (with the changes to RSHE in) and a link to the Withdrawal Form.

The DofE Guidance can be found here 

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