Are you ready for Relationship and Sex Education?

We recently asked National Education Union members what they thought about the proposed changes to the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and PSHE. Respondents were positive about the reforms, but just 28% were confident about their school’s readiness.

The barriers to successful implementation of the new RSE curriculum included a lack of training, low staff confidence, insufficient curriculum time and poor quality, outdated or non-existent resources. The Government must listen carefully to these concerns and act accordingly.

Relationships and Sex education should form part of Statutory PSHE. The Government has the power to make it statutory and must use it. PSHE is the best vehicle for delivering the RSE curriculum, as well as other important reforms, such as mental health, wellbeing, employability skills and online safety. 

PSHE should be afforded the same status as other National Curriculum subjects, and the “accountability curriculum” pressures – related to Progress 8, Ebacc and the SATs – must be addressed to allow professionals the space to teach PSHE well.

Resources to support curriculum delivery really do matter – and granting teachers access to a range of high quality, relevant and accessible resources will be crucial to empowering them to deliver RSE with confidence. This isn’t just a funding issue, though money is clearly important, it’s also a workload issue. We can’t expect teachers to spend hours searching for resources. We need to make access as easy and affordable as possible.

There is a consensus across the education sector that introducing statutory PSHE is the right thing to do. There is also a commitment from education professionals. Goodwill and agreement alone are not enough. The Government must give the subject of PSHE the status it deserves.

Read more on the NEU’s survey findings and what they want the government to do. Are you ready for Relationship and Sex Education?

Is your school ready? Are you? Do you feel confident enough? What do you think is need most to deliver RSE successfully? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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