Statutory Relationships Education and Health Education came into effect at key stage 1 and 2 from September 2020, as did Relationships, Sex and Health Education at key stage 3 and 4.
This statutory content — sometimes referred to as ‘RSHE’ — makes up the majority of schools’ PSHE education: The law requires schools to provide relationships, sex and health education to all secondary age pupils in the academic year 2020/21, and to provide some relationships and health education to all primary age pupils.
Schools are also required to publish a Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policy and to consult parents on this. In all teaching, schools are expected to comply with relevant legislation. However, for many schools, development of a fully comprehensive relationships education/RSE policy and RSHE curriculum will be an iterative process. Detailed curriculum planning is required to consider how the RSHE subjects relate to, and are supported by, other subjects within the curriculum; including science and citizenship, and it is important that schools take the time to get this right.
Engagement with parents, sharing the school’s RSE policy, can be online and does not necessarily need to be in person. A comprehensive RSHE programme should be delivered from September 2021. Teaching in the 2021/22 academic year should seek to address any gaps in pupils’ RSHE education this year.
Teachers and school leaders know their pupils best, and with the additional pressures of Covid-19 and home learning, schools have been encouraged to prioritise RSHE content based on the needs of their pupils, with particular attention to the importance of positive relationships, as well as mental and physical health. ‘