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How inclusive is your RSE provision to your learners with unique learning needs or SEND?

22 April 2021

Rachael Baker is a qualified teacher and SEND specialist, and is RSE subject expert here at Sex Education Forum. Inclusivity in relationships and sex education is a cornerstone of what we do at Sex Education Forum, ensuring all learners feel reflected in the curriculum and are able to fully access the learning.

Inclusivity is a tricky thing to measure. It’s easy to say that our curriculum will be inclusive, but how do we know if we have achieved that? A very important thing to remember is that whether something is inclusive or not is for the user to decide NOT the provider. We can’t tell someone that our offer is inclusive to them. We have to ask.

Inclusivity is about catering for needs, and preferences, and not making someone feel that their specific requirements are a burden. Inclusivity is about making everyone welcome. Think about the things that matter to you, and which make you feel included if you were attending a conference or a face-to-face training session. It might be a high enough chair, a larger print, decaf coffee, a menu with plenty of allergy friendly options, stair free access… How does it make you feel if those things are offered without you having to ask? How does it feel if the basics that you need are just not available?

SEND inclusivity in the RSE classroom is many faceted. We need to remember and embrace, even celebrate, that one size rarely fits all.

Practical considerations such as large enough print, clear uncomplicated diagrams, or coloured paper can all help support some learners to better access the learning. Long enough lessons, with time for transition in and out can really help our learners with ASC. Tactile resources can support many learners with additional sensory needs to engage, but as COVID restrictions have meant less sharing and passing around in the classroom, this may have had a significant impact on our learners with SEND.  But as well as the practical considerations, how do we ensure our teaching is inclusive, catering for differing starting points, different expectations for adult life, or different levels of experience?

Our 2-hour webinar, SEND inclusive RSE in mainstream settings, explores what teachers and schools can do to create an inclusive curriculum for your learners with SEND in mainstream settings. This workshop-style interactive webinar gives participants the safe space to:

  • Consider the differing needs of learners with SEND in mainstream settings to develop an inclusive programme of study, by identifying areas that a learner with SEND may find more challenging, for instance understanding the nuances of relationships, or recognising and giving consent.
  • Examine issues such as appropriate and accessible RSE resources, different starting points and variable learning needs, guiding you towards creating a robust and sensitive model.
  • Explore practical considerations such as how teaching assistant (TA) support may be deployed, considerations regarding resources, timetabling and learning environment, as well as ways to use targeted intervention and small group work.

Participants on this course will have the opportunity to participate in discussion activities, small group tasks, and personal reflection. You will leave with an example lesson plan, activities to take back to school to use with both your colleagues and learners, and top tips for creating a safe learning environment for your learners with SEND.

Our 2-hour webinar on SEND inclusive RSE in mainstream settings will next run on 27th April 9.30 - 11.30am. Tickets are £49.99 for members or £59.99 for non-members, and are available through our  website. 

Sex Education Forum supports educators with high quality training, resources and a membership scheme, so they can be competent and confident providers of RSE, in partnership with parents, carers, children and young people. Our range of courses and webinars are also available to commission as school INSET events and CPD sessions. For enquiries please contact info@sexeducationforum.org.uk

Rachael Baker

RSE Specialist, Sex Education Forum