Best Practice

RSE and parental consultation: Getting it right

Parental engagement and consultation is a vital component of effective relationships and sex education. Leah Jewett offers her advice to secondary schools on RSE delivery and parental engagement

September marked the long-awaited start of compulsory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) in England.

With it came the news that the deadline for full implementation now stretches until summer 2021 for those schools whose preparations have been hit hard by Covid-19 (DfE, 2020).

Given the constraints of Covid-19, schools have been challenged not only in delivering RSHE, but also in how they reach out to parents.

This article considers best practice for parental consultation over the RSE curriculum in both secondary schools and primary schools (the sex education elements of RSE are discretionary in primary schools).

RSE is the only subject that requires parental engagement in its development – not unsurprisingly, because parents are the missing link in their children’s sex education. Parents speaking openly at home is a form of early intervention and on-going prevention – it is a starting point for safeguarding, improving mental health and strengthening the parent-child connection.

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