Consent, misogyny, sexual harassment, healthy relationships and much more – the list of sensitive topics within RSHE is long and tackling these issues can be daunting for unprepared staff. Rachel Coathup offers some tips

Statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) was enacted to help solve many crises among our younger generation, from widespread misunderstandings about consent to LGBT+ inequality and battles with mental health.

The new curriculum (DfE, 2019) became statutory in September in England, updating previous guidance that was published in 2000. Given this significant time gap, it is perhaps not surprising that the overhaul brought forward a lot of changes.

The RSE element is no longer a clinical exploration of anatomy, sex and menstruation for which boys and girls are separated to limit embarrassment. Rather, RSE has evolved into a politically charged, empowering and crucial dissection of foundational topics spanning consent, equality, sexism, respectful and healthy relationships, trolling and personal safety, which all students discuss together.

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