Understanding Relationships and Health Education - Parent Carer Consultation
As a part of your child’s educational experience at Sparken Hill Academy, we aim to promote personal wellbeing and development through a comprehensive taught programme of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education that gives children and young people the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live healthy, safe, productive and fulfilled lives, both now and in the future.
As you may already be aware, the Department for Education has announced changes to relationships and sex education following nationwide consultation. These changes will come into effect from September 2020 and all schools will be required to comply with the updated requirements. Due to COVID 19 schools have been able to delay this until the summer term 2021. The statutory guidance can be found at:
The new guidance focuses on healthy relationships and keeping children safe in the modern world. It also covers a wide range of topics relating to physical and mental health, wellbeing, safeguarding, and healthy relationships.
Learning about the emotional, social, and physical aspects of growing up will give children and young people the information, skills and positive values to have safe, fulfilling relationships and help them take responsibility for their own well-being.
Consequently, from September 2020, Relationships, along with Health Education, will be statutory and form part of the National Curriculum. For Secondary schools Sex Education will also become statutory. However, the DfE continue to recommend that all primary schools should have a sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils. Where schools provide sex education at key stages 1 and 2, parents will have the right to withdraw their child from sex education but not from statutory Relationships Education, Health Education or what is taught in the Science National curriculum.
This means that we have been reviewing our RSE (Relationship and Sex Education) curriculum and policy so we can be sure our RSE provision is appropriate for our pupils based on their:
- Physical and emotional maturity
- Religious and cultural backgrounds
- Special educational needs and disabilities
Whilst I am sure that there will be differences of opinion about this, we hope that consulting with you will help to inform our schools’ decisions on when and how certain content is covered, and enable us to reach a general consensus. Consequently, as part of our curriculum review we would appreciate your views on our draft policy for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
What is taught, and how, is ultimately a decision for the school and consultation does not provide a parental veto on curriculum content as schools are legally required to teach the National Curriculum. The right to withdraw children from some lessons is explained within the policy and FAQs which is on our website.
As school community, we are currently in unprecedented times which makes it a little more challenging to consult with you. To help you understand the curriculum requirements, I have placed information on our website which I would encourage you to read. Part of this is a Presentation for Parents which I would ordinarily have shared with you in person, and another sheet that aims to respond to the questions that I anticipated might be asked. On our website, I have included:
- a summary of what all pupils are expected to know by the end of primary school,
- A PowerPoint presentation for parents (also saved as a PDF)
- FAQ sheet,
- Our proposed draft Policy for Relationships, Sex and Health Education
- DfE guidance that outlines statutory requirements.
- A link to an anonymous Consultation Questionnaire:
This can all be found on our school website in the Parents Section (Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) Consultation:
PARENT RSHE consultation response
Consultation Questions (on the questionnaire).
1. Would you like support at home, on how to speak to your child about relationship and sex?
2. Are there any changes or additions that you think should be made to the RSE Policy?
3. Are there any changes or additions that you think should be made to the RSE Curriculum Outline?
4. Thinking about relationships and sex education, what do you believe is the most important subject area that should be taught for different age groups/key stages and why?
5. Thinking about relationships and sex education, is there an area that you think should not be taught for different age groups/key stages and why?
Your views are very important to us and we will respond to you on the outcome of this process later this term. Once we have considered all the feedback, the finalised Relationships and Sex Education Policy will be uploaded to the Academy website which will also set out the proposed curriculum.
I hope this letter and information on the school website goes some way to answer any questions you may have. If you have any queries or concerns regarding the consultation process, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for your continued support.
Miss Corina Jones
PSHE Curriculum Subject Lead