This widely quoted subject report from Ofsted, published in 2013, highlighted the inadequacy of RSE in the sample of 50 maintained schools inspected. The report found that sex and relationships education required improvement in over a third of schools, and explained this inadequacy as follows:
'In primary schools this was because too much emphasis was placed on friendships and relationships, leaving pupils ill-prepared for physical and emotional changes during puberty, which many begin to experience before they reach secondary school. In secondary schools it was because too much emphasis was placed on ‘the mechanics’ of reproduction and too little on relationships, sexuality, the influence of pornography on students’ understanding of healthy sexual relationships, dealing with emotions and staying safe.'
The report includes a section on key characteristics of outstanding PSHE, for example:
- Teachers assess learning rigorously
The curriculum is innovative and creative
The curriculum is regularly reviewed and revised
Leaders and managers rigorously monitor the quality of teaching