RSE – Checklist for Parents
CViE|26 Nov 2019
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The current edition (October 2019) of the SPUC “Safe at School bulletin” contains a useful checklist for parents to aid in approaching their children’s school regarding Relationships Education and/or Relationships and Sex Education.
(SPUC is the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.)
The key points in the checklist are as follows:
Note: Page numbers below refer to the current version of the Government’s statutory guidance on RSE: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education – Statutory guidance for governing bodies, proprietors, head teachers, principals, senior leadership teams and teachers.
- Consultation with parents. The Guidance states that schools are required to consult with parents when developing their policies for Relationships Education or RSE (Page 11).
- Meeting the needs of parents. The policy on Relationships Education or RSE must ‘meet the needs of pupils and parents and reflect the community they serve’.
- The policy must also include information about ‘how the policy has been produced and how it will be kept under review, in both cases working with parents’ (Pages 11-12).
- Freedom on delivering the content. The Guidance is clear that schools are “free to determine how to deliver the content … in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum” (Page 8).
- Flexibility. The Guidance states: “We are determined that the subjects must be deliverable and give schools flexibility to shape their curriculum according to the needs of their pupils and communities” (Page 4). In addition the Guidance states: “Schools will retain freedom to determine an age-appropriate, developmental curriculum which meets the needs of young people, is developed in consultation with parents and the local community.” (Page 41).
- LGBT teaching in primary schools. The Government has stated that there is ‘no specific requirement’ for primary schools to teach children about LGBT relationships.1
- LGBT teaching in secondary schools. Even though the Government expects all pupils to have been “taught LGBT content at a timely point “, the Guidance also State that schools are “free to determine how they do this” (Page 15). This means that schools are not legally obliged, for example, to invite homosexual pressure groups such as Stonewall into the school. Faith schools are free to teach pupils about LGBT relationships in line with their religion.
- The “Statutory guidance: Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education” referred to in the checklist can be found here.
- The SPUC Safe at School bulletin can be found by clicking here.
- Also of interest on the SPUC website is a video giving a useful overview of what is in the new statutory Guidance.