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Young People's RSE Poll 2022

2 March 2023

A survey of 1,002 young people aged 16-17 in England carried out by Censuswide between between 2 and 13 December 2022, and commissioned by the Sex Education Forum, reveals broken promises in relationships and sex education, which leave young people unprepared for modern challenges. 

  • Three years after the Government introduced statutory RSE, only 40% of young people rate their lessons as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Meanwhile, nearly one in five (18%) still say their in-school RSE is bad or very bad.
  • Students report that they don’t learn enough about today’s most pressing issues, including pornography (58%), LGBTQ+-relevant information (54%), and healthy relationships (54%).
  • While 44% of respondents agreed that what they learned in RSE had helped them and 42% said the content felt relevant to them, over a quarter still felt lessons were neither relevant (26%) nor helpful (27%).

Reported quality of RSE improved since last year, up five percentage points in 2022 from just over a third (35%) of students saying RSE was ‘good’ or ‘very good’ in 2021. However, this number remains level with 2019 poll data collected before RSE became statutory – showing how much work is yet to be done in ensuring all students have access to quality curricula. 

The research underscores the importance of the Sex Education Forum’s calls for young people to be listened to and engaged in RSE curriculum development, and increased Government investment in teacher training, to ensure every young person can access quality, meaningful RSE.