Relationship & Sex Education Consultation

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From the summer term, it is a requirement for the school to deliver Relationship and Sex Education as part of the schools PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) programme to all year groups at East Barnet School. We are writing to share with you the school’s plans and the required content as set out in the DfE (Department for Education) statutory guidance for Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education (July 2019). Please note that due to Covid-19 and to accommodate staff training, the programme will be taught from September 2021. At East Barnet School, we welcome this curriculum change as an opportunity to reinforce the positive approach we take in building healthy relationships of all kinds across the school, with the knowledge that happy, healthy relationships enable students to thrive, aspire and achieve. 

As part of our implementation strategy, we would like to consult with parents/careers. To do so we have highlighted below the key points within the guidance and listed the knowledge and understanding that students should attain by the time they leave school. We have also included an overview of the topics that we intend to deliver to each year group/key stage.  

Please do take your time to read the guidance and topic overview and get in touch via the email by Friday 23rd April if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions. We very much value hearing from you. 

New statutory guidance for Relationship and Sex Education and Health education – key points 

  • The DfE Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (Statutory Guidance July 2019) states that whilst only Relationship Education is compulsory in Primary schools, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education are compulsory in all state funded schools. 
  • Sixth Form are included in both the RSE and Health Education provision. 
  • All secondary schools must have a written policy for Relationship and Sex Education, but not Health education- this will be on the website prior to implementation, September 2021.
  • Schools should be mindful of preparing students with Additional Educational needs (AEN) for adulthood outcomes as set out in the SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) code of practice, when teaching RSE to students with SEND. 
  • Schools should be alive to issues such as everyday sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes and take positive action to build a culture where these are not tolerated. 
  • LGBTQ+: In teaching RSE, the school must ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. Subsequently the school must comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010 under which sexual orientation and gender reassignment are amongst the protected characteristics.  
  • Teaching should be age appropriate in approach and content and at the point that the school considers it appropriate to teach pupils about LGBTQ+, they should ensure that the content is fully integrated into the programme of study for this area of the curriculum rather than delivered as a stand-alone unit or lesson. 

Knowledge and Understanding 

Pupils should know 
• That there are different types of committed, stable relationships.
• How these relationships might contribute to human happiness and their importance for bringing up children.
• What marriage is, including their legal status e.g. that marriage carries legal rights and protections not available to couples who are cohabiting or who have married, for example, in an unregistered religious ceremony.
• Why marriage is an important relationship choice for many couples and why it must be freely entered into.
• The characteristics and legal status of other types of long-term relationships.
• The roles and responsibilities of parents with respect to the raising of children, including the characteristics of successful parenting.
• How to: determine whether other children, adults or sources of information are trustworthy: judge when a family, friend, intimate or other relationship is unsafe (and to recognise this in others’ relationships); and, how to seek help or advice, including reporting concerns about others, if needed. 
Pupils should know 
• The characteristics of positive and healthy friendships (in all contexts, including online) including: trust, respect, honesty, kindness, generosity, boundaries, privacy, consent and the management of conflict, reconciliation and ending relationships. This includes different (non-sexual) types of relationship.
• Practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships.
• How stereotypes, in particular stereotypes based on sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, can cause damage (e.g. how they might normalise non-consensual behaviour or encourage prejudice).
• That in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including people in positions of authority and due tolerance of other people’s beliefs.
• About different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders to report bullying and how and where to get help.
• That some types of behaviour within relationships are criminal, including violent behaviour and coercive control. 
• What constitutes sexual harassment and sexual violence and why these are always unacceptable.
• The legal rights and responsibilities regarding equality (particularly with reference to the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010) and that everyone is unique and equal. 
Pupils should know 
• Their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities online, including that the same expectations of behaviour apply in all contexts, including online.
• About online risks, including that any material someone provides to another has the potential to be shared online and the difficulty of removing potentially compromising material placed online.
• Not to provide material to others that they would not want shared further and not to share personal material which is sent to them.
• What to do and where to get support to report material or manage issues online.
• The impact of viewing harmful content.
• That specifically sexually explicit material e.g. pornography presents a distorted picture of sexual behaviours, can damage the way people see themselves in relation to others and negatively affect how they behave towards sexual partners.
• That sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties including jail.
• How information and data is generated, collected, shared and used online. 
Pupils should know
• The concepts of, and laws relating to, sexual consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, coercion, harassment, rape, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based violence and FGM, and how these can affect current and future relationships.
• How people can actively communicate and recognise consent from others, including sexual consent, and how and when consent can be withdrawn (in all contexts, including online). 
Pupils should know
• How to recognise the characteristics and positive aspects of healthy one-to-one intimate relationships, which include mutual respect, consent, loyalty, trust, shared interests, and outlook, sex and friendship.
• That all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, e.g. physical, emotional, mental, sexual, and reproductive health and wellbeing.
• The facts about reproductive health, including fertility, and the potential impact of lifestyle on fertility for people and menopause.
• That there are a range of strategies for identifying and managing sexual pressure, including understanding peer pressure, resisting pressure, and not pressurising others.
• That they have a choice to delay sex or to enjoy intimacy without sex.
• The facts about the full range of contraceptive choices, efficacy, and options available.
• The facts around pregnancy including miscarriage.
• That there are choices in relation to pregnancy (with medically and legally accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help).
• How the different sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDs, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex (including through condom use) and the importance of and facts about testing.
• About the prevalence of some STIs, the impact they can have on those who contract them and key facts about treatment.
• How the use of alcohol and drugs can lead to risky sexual behaviour.
• How to get further advice, including how and where to access confidential sexual and reproductive health advice and treatment.   
Pupils should be made aware of the relevant legal provisions when relevant topics are being taught, including for example:
• marriage
• consent, including the age of consent
• violence against women and girls
• online behaviours including image and information sharing (including ‘sexting’, youth-produced sexual imagery, nudes, etc.)
• pornography
• abortion
• sexuality
• gender identity
• female genital mutilation (FGM) 
Pupils should know 
• Key facts about puberty, the changing adolescent body and menstrual wellbeing.
• The main changes which take place in males and females, and the implications for emotional and physical health. 
Year 7
Managing puberty and the issues of unwanted contact, sexism, forced marriages and FGM. Self-esteem, romance, and relationships. Exploring family life.   
Year 8 
Online safety – peer pressure, sexting, sexual exploitation. Mental health and emotional wellbeing – including body image. Introduction to sexuality and consent. Introduction to contraception including the condom and the pill.   
Year 9
Relationships and sex education including healthy relationships (sexual exploitation, abusive relationships, and consent. STI’s, sexting and pornography.   
Managing romantic relationship changes and challenges, including break ups. Choices: Contraception/abortion and understanding different types of families and emotional and financial cost of parenting. Tackling domestic abuse in relationships.   
Sex and the Law Consent and the Law Why people have sex Contraception – What it is and when is it used. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s). Pregnancy and parenting – The economic and emotional cost   

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