Since September 2020, Relationships Education, Health Education, and Relationships and Sex Education became compulsory in England. Relationships, Health and Sex Education is sometimes shortened to RSHE.

Whilst RSHE is statutory, the outbreak of Covid-19 means that schools will have additional flexibility to meet the new curriculum requirements. 

The Government acknowledges that some schools may struggle to offer a comprehensive RSHE curriculum this year, which covers everything in the Department’s statutory guidance.

The Government have stated that they ‘would like to reassure schools that it is for them to decide what can reasonably be achieved within the confines of their statutory duties.’

Schools will still be required to plan some relationships, sex and health education to all secondary age pupils in the academic year 2020/21, and to provide some relationships and health education to all primary age pupils. Schools are also required to publish a Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policy and to consult parents on this.

The NEU wants to support all schools to prepare and plan for an effective, inclusive and needs -led RSHE.  We encourage schools to keep engaging with parents and pupils as much as possible to help inform curriculum planning and to identify gaps in learning so that topics can be picked up later on.

The full DfE statement and further advice from the Sex Education Forum can be found here.

Further support on how to plan for RSHE success can be found here:

What is the NEU doing? 

In March 2021 we co-launched new advice on how to plan and prepare for the changes to RSHE.

The NEU believes that the mental health and wellbeing of students must be a priority for all schools this academic year and RSHE will be critical to that work. 

The NEU has developed a model policy for primary and secondary schools to support schools to prepare for the changes to Relationship and Sex Education (RSE).  We have also produced guidance that gives further information about the new requirements. 

The NEU has endorsed AGENDA as a tool to help schools to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. It will also help your school to develop an empowering, need-led RSE that has gender-equity and human rights at its heart. 

Find out more about AGENDA and be trained on how to use it in your school.