Preparing for the statutory RSE and health education

    Published: 04 October 2018

    In July 2018, the government published its draft guidance for 'Relationships and Sex Education, Relationships Education and Health Education'.  

    The draft guidance remains in consultation until 7th November, but when finalised will be mandatory, requiring all schools, including academies and independent schools, to provide high-quality RSE or relationships education and health education. This is the first change to SRE curriculum requirements for 20 years.

    The DfE’s expectation is that most schools will be delivering the new requirements from September 2019, with Ofsted inspecting fully developed and embedded programmes and policies from September 2020.

    The vast majority of Hertfordshire schools will already be delivering most of this curriculum content as part of their current PSHE programme, but schools are advised now to audit their provision to identify any gaps, update their approach and to refresh their policy in light of the statutory changes.

    Speaking about the new guidance, Lucy Emmerson from the Sex Education Forum said: “The new guidance stipulates that for teaching to be effective “core knowledge is broken down into units of manageable size and communicated clearly to pupils, in a carefully sequenced way, within a planned programme or lessons

    “This spells an end to RSE being delivered purely through drop-down days or as one-off talks from external visitors. If your school has previously opted for this more ad-hoc approach it is essential to begin looking at timetabling, curriculum planning and, of course, staffing, as soon as possible.”

    Herts for Learning support and DfE consultation

    In support of the change, Herts for Learning (HfL) is offering centrally run events this March. Following this, wellbeing advisers will also offer school-based training and consultancy to schools who would welcome in-house support to meet the new requirements.

    The new curriculum puts safeguarding of pupils to the top of this agenda and the Wellbeing Team at HfL is relieved that this is recognised as essential.

    “This important and long overdue change focuses schools on delivering the required curriculum content in ways that develop children and young people’s agency in self-safeguarding. It has to be right that RSE and health education enables them to have information, strategies and skills to inform positive choices and enable them to manage their lives, relationships and physical and mental health.” said Karin Hutchinson, Lead Wellbeing Adviser at HfL.

    HfL encourages schools to contribute to the consultation on the DfE’s draft curriculum guidance. HfL wants the DfE to reflect the needs of Hertfordshire schools and their pupils accurately. Please find time to respond: Consultation: Relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education

    To download the draft statutory guidance on RSE and health education: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education

    HfL’s central events in March are designed to help school leaders and PSHE coordinators to prepare for the changes.

    A route map for the new statutory relationships (sex) and health education curriculum in the primary school (Key Stages 1 and 2)

    Friday 15th March 2019

    Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage

    A route map for the new statutory relationship, sex and health education curriculum in the secondary school (Key Stages 3 and 4)

    Tuesday 19th March 2019

    Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage

    Schools can also select from bespoke in-school training including RSE Staff training run at your school, policy review advice meetings or Parent RSE workshops. Further information about this can be found on The Grid.

    “Together we can prepare our curriculum offer for this important change that will truly benefit our next generation and provide them with the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to make healthier lifestyle choices,” concluded Karin.


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