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Register as an early adopter: relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education

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From September 2020, subject to parliamentary approval, the following subjects will become compulsory:

  • Relationships education for primary schools
  • Relationships and sex education (RSE) for secondary schools 
  • Health education in all state maintained schools

On Monday 25 February, the department laid regulations for the above subjects. These were passed in the House of Commons, and on Wednesday 24 April the regulations to make these subjects compulsory in schools cleared their final hurdle when they were agreed in the House of Lords. The regulations will shortly be signed by the Secretary of State, and the DfE will publish the final statutory guidance for schools. You can access the draft guidance here

The department is looking for schools to act as early adopters of this curriculum and begin teaching the new subjects from September 2019. The department wants a strong reference group of schools to work with, leading up to and during the academic year 2019 to 2020, as support and training materials are prepared for full compulsory teaching. This approach allows early adopter schools the opportunity to assist the department to shape the advice for schools.

The early adopter programme will give both the department and schools the opportunity to learn lessons about:

  • best practice on how these subjects are taught most effectively
  • how schools that currently teach a large proportion of the existing sex and relationship education and PSHE are ensuring they teach the new requirements
  • how the department can best support schools. 

Schools can register to become an early adopter now by filling in their details here.  

As an early adopter school, the department will invite you to a national conference in the autumn that will include a range of workshops, access to national experts in the field and opportunities to network. 

The conference will be free with places allocated on a first come, first served basis. However, if the conference is oversubscribed, priority will be given to schools that registered earliest in the programme. 

Schools that register now will be able to take part in the initial stages of identifying appropriate structures for training that will go out to teachers nationally. 

Early adopter schools will also receive advanced drafts of school support products, which will be refined throughout the year. 

The department will undertake a selection process, for a small number of schools to develop case studies on best practices. Information on the selection process will be published on contracts finder service on in the near future.

If you have any queries about the early adopter's programme please contact Ade Alao at

First published 20 June 2019