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Relationships, Sex and Health Education 2020/2021

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The Department for Education has issued a communication to schools on Relationships, Sex and Health Education which is due to become statutory on 1st September 2020. All primary age children will be taught Relationships Education and Health Education and all secondary age children will be taught Relationships, Sex and Health Education.

NAHT discussed the implementation these subjects with them in light of the coronavirus pandemic and expressed the need for schools  to have the flexibility to have more time to prepare and implement statutory RSHE.

You can find the full DfE communication here .

The guidance note gives more detail, including on the approach Ofsted will take, but in essence:

  • The Department wants to reassure schools that they have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching.
  • Schools who assess that they are prepared to deliver teaching and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.
  • Schools that assess that they have been unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the lost time and competing priorities should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and to commence teaching the new content no later than the start of the summer term 2021.
  • As the subjects will be compulsory from 1 September 2020 the new parental right to withdraw provision will apply.

NAHT would encourage schools who have completed their parental engagement, planning and training for the new statutory curriculum to start teaching; but those schools whose preparation has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic should make use of this flexibility which gives them until the summer term 2021 to start teaching the statutory content. In the interim period, as the statutory content is phased into the curriculum, schools should continue with their existing programmes of PSHE.




First published 01 July 2020