There is consensus within the profession that RSE is vital to ensure that children can stay safe and develop healthy, equal and enjoyable relationships. The new guidance brings RSE into the 21st century to better reflect the complexity of children and young people’s lives today, including how to navigate the online world.
We know that many schools are delivering excellent RSE but there are key areas that children and young people say they want to learn more about including LGBT+ relationships, sexism and sexual harassment and healthy and unhealthy relationships. That is why we are pleased to see content in the guidance stating that RSE should be LGBT+ inclusive and how children can report abuse and stay safe. We also welcome the important content on how young people can develop positive relationships with others through tackling stereotypes and ensuring children can respect and celebrate diversity and difference.
The NEU believes in an education system that supports child well- being and celebrates all areas of the curriculum, including the social and emotional aspects of learning. Now that RSE will be statutory in 2020 we hope that this important subject will receive the necessary time and space in the school curriculum.
It is vital that schools get the right support, resources and authority needed to ensure RSE reaches all children and young people. We do not believe the 6 million pounds announced by Government this week to support the delivery of RSE will be enough to ensure teachers can access the training needed to make these reforms a success. High quality professional development is key to ensure teachers feel confident and equipped to deliver the subject well and in time for 2020. With funding cuts hitting schools hard we desperately need the Government to invest more money in our education system to safeguard all areas of our children and young people’s education.