Back to top

#10 How will schools know what to teach in RSE?

The new legislation places RSE and Relationships Education in the basic school curriculum. This allows schools flexibility in developing their programme as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

RSE will not be a National Curriculum subject so there is unlikely to be a new programme of study, as there is for other National Curriculum subjects. There is also  no obligation to examine the subject at GCSE level, for example.

Final new Government guidance on RSE has been passed by Parliament. This will apply to schools from September 2020. This includes tables of content that list what pupils should know 'by the end of primary' and 'by the end of secondary'. This guidance will be finalised ahead of September 2019, with all schools required to follow it by September 2020. The Government expects schools to start making preparations now, and endorses the supplementary advice: ‘SRE for the 21st Century’, which was produced by the Sex Education Forum, Brook and PSHE Association in 2014. 

See Government policy statement on RSE, Relationships Education and PSHE, published in March 2017.

We have produced a curriculum design tool, available from our Resources area, which demonstrates how to take a spiral, developmental approach to designing a programme of RSE, from early years through secondary and beyond to further education. Our training and events provide opportunities to look in depth at specific areas of the curriculum. 

The Sex Education Forum 'statement of commitment' sets out 12 principles which underpin good quality, evidence-based RSE.