Best Practice

RSE: What do young people want and need?

Who better to ask about what is needed from relationships and sex education than the young people themselves. This is what the Sex Education Forum has done. Lucy Emmerson explains

Changes to relationships and sex education (RSE) take effect this September and mean that all primary and secondary schools in England will need to update their provision.

Seeing this as an opportunity to better understand pupils’ needs can be a helpful starting point. The new legislation was, after all, driven by the desire to protect children and young people, and support them to be healthy, happy and safe in their relationships and growing up.

Curriculum content for relationships education, RSE and health education is set out in updated government guidance on the subject (DfE, 2019), which leaves flexibility for schools to determine where to place emphasis. The guidance also recommends involving pupils in developing the school policy. This is to be commended because consulting pupils will give teachers fresh insight into what is needed and build a stronger case to share with staff, parents and governors.

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