RSHE Review: A chance to get this vital subject right for all students

The review of statutory RSHE comes amid calls from some politicians to ‘end inappropriate sex education’. But Lucy Emmerson says that ministers must use the review to put young people at the heart of RSHE and fix the gaps that persist in delivery

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has announced that a review of the 2019 statutory guidance on relationships, sex, and health education (DfE, 2019) will be brought forward, with consultation “starting as soon as possible”.

Confirming his plans during Prime Minister's Questions on March 8, Mr Sunak said: "I've asked the DfE to ensure that schools are not teaching inappropriate or contested content in RSHE. Our priority should always be the safety and wellbeing of children, and schools should also make curriculum content available to parents.”

The story has generated a lot of headlines, not least after PMQs on March 8 heard a complaint that some relationships and sex education (RSE) lessons were “age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualising and inaccurate”. There are fears from some quarters that the review is politically motivated.

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