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The Department for Education is introducing compulsory Relationships Education for primary pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary pupils from September 2020. Also, from September 2020 it will be compulsory for all schools to teach health education.
Primary relationships and health education (RHE)
The new RHE curriculum became compulsory from September 2020.
However If they were not ready, or were unable to meet the requirements, teaching could have been postponed to the start of the summer term 2021.
Luton Primary Schools teach Relationships and Health Education. Sex Education is optional and schools can opt to teach this in agreement with governors and in consultation with parents. If a school opts to teach sex education in primary school, parents can withdraw their child from that lesson.
The focus in Luton primary schools is teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to:
- family relationships
- relationships with other children and with adults
- develop into healthy informed and emotionally well citizens within modern Britain
- be able to recognise harmful behaviours
- seek help for themselves or others
The recommended Luton primary curriculum is a relationship and health based curriculum. Schools can opt in to the sex education teaching elements by agreement with govenors and in consultation with parents.
Relationships and health education in Luton primary schools
We've adopted a relationships and health curriculum within Luton and support:
- Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Association approved programmes for Relationships and Health Education (RHE)
- other recognised programmes that meet the high standards of PSHE Association
- the council’s values of embracing equality and diversity, cohesion and inclusion whilst showing respect for others
- The Christopher Winter Project (CWP)
- Discovery Education Health & Relationships
Our guiding principles are that all of the compulsory subject content must:
- be age appropriate and developmentally appropriate
- be taught sensitively and inclusively, with respect to the backgrounds and beliefs of pupils and parents
- promote tolerance of difference, while always with the aim of providing pupils with the appropriate knowledge to thrive in today’s society
The good practice of consulting parents, ensuring school staff are trained to confidently deliver relationships education and that resources are age appropriate and of good quality has always been at the heart of Luton’s programme.
Over 50 per cent of Luton primary schools have successfully been teaching relationship education using the CWP for several years.
Schools can continue to use this programme, or be encouraged to adopt a Luton recommended programme as RHE became statutory from September 2020.
Programmes on average consist of approximately:
- three lessons per year on RHE as part of the wider PSHE curriculum in reception to year 5
- four lessons in year 6
The focus in primary schools will be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.
Together with schools, we've always been proactive in implementing age appropriate RHE programmes that meet the needs of children, working to keep them safe, promoting tolerance and respect and protecting themselves and their peers from others who would seek to do them harm.
Should parents have any concerns or queries about RSHE, they should raise them directly with their child’s head teacher so that any issues can be addressed.
For more information
- RHE primary schools guide for parents
- RSHE secondary schools guide for parents
- Luton RHE primary overview and FAQ
- Department of Education - statutory guidance