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#6 What should be included in our school RSE policy?

Government guidance on SRE published in 2000, states that all schools must have an up-to-date policy that is made available for inspection and to parents and that pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community be involved in developing and reviewing the policy. The guidance states that the policy must:

  • define sex and relationship education;
  • describe how sex and relationship education is provided and who is responsible for providing it;
  • say how sex and relationship education is monitored and evaluated;
    include information about parents' right to withdrawal;
  • be reviewed regularly.

The current government guidance (2000) includes further advice about topics that should be covered by the SRE policy.

Under the new guidance (2019) schools will still need a policy on RSE. Primary schools will need to define Relationships Education and define any sex education they choose to teach other than that covered in the science curriculum. Seconcary schools will need to define Relationships and Sex Education. All schools will need to:

  • Set out the subject content, how it is taught and who is responsible for teaching it.
  • Describe how the subject is monitored and evaluated.
  • Include information to clarify why parents do not have a right to withdraw their child.
  • Include information about parent's rights 
  • Confirm the date by which the policy will be reviewed.

Typical policies are likely to include sections covering:

  • details of content/scheme of work and when each topic is taught, taking account of the age of pupils
  • who delivers either Relationships Education or RSE
  • how the policy has been produced, and how it will be kept under review, in both cases working with parents
  • how delivery of the content will be made accessible to all pupils, including those with SEND
  • explanation of a right to withdraw
  • requirements on schools in law
  • how often the policy is updated
  • who approves the policy

The Sex Education Forum has produced SRE policy guidance to help you review and develop your policy.