Yes. Relationships, Sex & Health Education is mandatory in all schools in England.

Here is a link to the Guidance introduced in 2020 and due to be reviewed in 2023.

There is so much in the Guidance to support your whole school community. Page 7 also lists some important links to other areas of research and guidance, which should also be read.

There are many interwoven elements that come together in this holistic subject. There are benefits of comprehensive RSHE for improving safeguarding, sexual health outcomes, LGBTQ+ inclusion, engaging with boys and young men for better mental health and tackling violence against women and girls.

If you’d like to find out more about what RSHE aims to achieve and how it reduces harm, you are encouraged to look at this document. 

We have a designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), a safeguarding policy and record keeping procedures are in place. 

The It Happens Education team are all enhanced DBS checked and registered with the update service. It is compulsory for all speakers to complete Child Safeguarding training (Level 2) with regular updates. We follow guidance from KCSIE. Should a disclosure be made, we would follow your school’s safeguarding procedure and refer this to your Designated Safeguarding Lead to be dealt with in the usual way.

RSHE is a complex and at times challenging subject that is constantly evolving. Specialist outside speakers can bring experience and expertise to some of these sensitive areas. It is important that we are not seen as a replacement for your RSHE delivery, we are working WITH schools to deliver these sessions. We are not delivering this work INSTEAD of your lessons. Our role is to complement and support the RSHE work you and your colleagues are already doing. It is vital that our sessions are planned as part of your existing programme of study. The work we do with your students, teachers and parents will have the most impact if these sessions are joined up.

  • Teachers need to feel trained and able to tackle these subjects too.
  • Parents need to be onboard with proposed content and know what is being covered when and by whom.
  • Student sessions must be carefully planned and delivered within a scheme of work, topic or project. It is vital that we know what has already been delivered in the area and how the session is going to be followed up.

Please click here to view page 18 of the RSHE Statutory Guidance.

The Sex Education Forum has produced this useful document to help schools consider how external agencies can best contribute to RSHE: https://www.sexeducationforum.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/attachment/External%20agencies%20and%20RSE%20-%20SEF%202021_0.pdf

We would urge all schools to read this thoroughly before booking any external RSHE agency.

We would like to draw you attention to this check list:

  • Does the input enhance learning and have a clear place in the curriculum?
  • Is the school taking lead responsibility for teaching and learning?
  • Does the input support the capacity of schools to deliver good quality RSE, for example, by contributing to the professional development of teachers?
  • Are there opportunities for external agencies to work directly with parents and carers?
  • Would the skills of external agencies be best used in a different way, for example, either working with small groups of children and young people or one to one?
  • Is there time to discuss and plan the external agency input together in advance, including how the needs of specific pupils will be met?
  • Has the visitor seen and discussed the school RSE policy including awareness of how the school defines sex education?
  • Does the input from the visitor comply with the Equality Act 2010, particularly the requirement not to subject any child to discrimination in terms of the way in which the curriculum is delivered?
  • Does the input from the visitor contribute to providing a balanced and broadly – based curriculum – which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life? (Education Act 2002)
  • Is there mutual understanding that the school is responsible for the curriculum, with teachers recognising that they must uphold the Teachers’ Standards?
  • Has the visitor seen and agreed to adhere to the school safeguarding, confidentiality and photography/recording policies?
  • Is there evidence that the visitor has had the appropriate DBS check?
  • Can the visitor share their own safeguarding and confidentiality policies?
  • Do pupils have an opportunity to evaluate input from external visitors?
  • Are there opportunities to review the input of external agencies; and for the findings to inform future plans?

Yes. Our work supports school policy and safeguarding provision. We liaise closely with teachers about all slides and content before delivering any sessions to students.

It is important that the emotional needs of the audience are considered. Before all of our sessions we work closely with staff to understand the pastoral needs of each specific cohort so that we can respond accordingly. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

“The relationship between parents and schools is at the heart of successfully educating children.” Gillian Keegan, March 2023.

The guidance states that:

  • Schools must publish an RSHE policy.
  • Schools must consult parents on their RSHE policy.
  • When consulting parents, schools should share examples of their RSHE resources. 
  • Schools should check all external providers content before delivery.
  • Schools are expected to adopt a transparent approach. 

Our default position is yes. We agree with the Secretary of State, that parents should be able to view curriculum materials.

Whilst parents are not able to veto curriculum content, it is vital that they are consulted, encouraged to engage with the topics and carry on these conversations at home.

Schools will choose the best way to make their RSHE planning, resources and sessions available to their parent community.

If parents are keen to access the agreed-content of our bespoke sessions there are many options. We trust that our schools will use their discretion to decide whether our materials are made available face-to-face or in an online format such as a webinar.

Yes. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the ‘Sex Education’ element of RSHE, but not from the Health or Relationships elements. Parents cannot withdraw their child from National Curriculum Science. There is a slightly different process for the family & school to follow if the student is within 3 terms of their 16th birthday.

“Right to be excused from sex education (commonly referred to as the right to withdraw) Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE. Before granting any such request it would be good practice for the head teacher to discuss the request with parents and, as appropriate, with the child to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum. Schools will want to document this process to ensure a record is kept. 46. Good practice is also likely to include the head teacher discussing with parents the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child. This could include any social and emotional effects of being excluded, as well as the likelihood of the child hearing their peers’ version of what was said in the classes, rather than what was directly said by the teacher (although the detrimental effects may be mitigated if the parents propose to deliver sex education to their child at home instead).”

DfE, RSHE Guidance 2021

Each school we work with will have a policy regarding their own definitions of topics (for further advice see Sex Education Forum definitions here) It is the schools’ responsibility to inform parents about the lessons that are planned.

Our sessions typically incorporate a mixture of elements of the Sex, Relationships and Health Education topics. We share the student survey data and insist that the school reviews slides/clips beforehand. Teachers are then able to make an informed decision about whether the work falls under a Relationship or Sex or Health lessons and can communicate with parents accordingly.

Whilst we don’t explicitly advertise our work as being about sexual harassment, sexual violence or child-on-child abuse (KCSIE); our spiral curriculum includes the building blocks for all students to understand the importance of respect, gender stereotypes, equality, healthy relationships, critical thinking and consent culture. This starts with our youngest students and weaves its way through all of our content, including work with teachers & parents. It is only with everyone in the school community modelling protective RSHE, that we can minimise the risk of these unacceptable behaviours becoming normalised.

The recent OFSTED Review “revealed how prevalent sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are for children and young people. It is concerning that for some children, incidents are so commonplace that they see no point in reporting them. This review did not analyse whether the issue is more or less prevalent for different groups of young people, and there may well be differences, but it found that the issue is so widespread that it needs addressing for all children and young people. It recommends that schools, colleges and multi-agency partners act as though sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are happening, even when there are no specific reports”.

OFSTED Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools & Colleges 2021

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about this.

Yes, we can support you with your audit, parent consultation, gleaning student voice and putting an action plan in place. Please contact us if you are interested in our RSHE Support Programme.

Never before has there been such a spotlight on Relationships, Sex & Health Education (RSHE) and it has been the focus of many school inspections recently. In the wake of Everyone’s Invited and the OFSTED Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools & Colleges, there is an expectation to address these issues as a matter of priority. We are acutely aware that Ofsted and ISI are focusing on both delivery, content and safeguarding procedures around this subject. They are looking at your whole school culture.

Our work is inclusive. All families, all teachers and all young people must feel included in RSHE lessons, workshops and any training they receive. We feel that this is essential. This is in line with the Department of Education Statutory Guidance 2019: “Schools must ensure that they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010, (please see The Equality Act 2010 and schools: Departmental advice), under which sexual orientation and gender reassignment are amongst the protected characteristics”.

“LGBT inclusion is part of the statutory Relationships Education, Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education curriculum and there is a range of support available to help schools counter homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and abuse.”

DfE KCSIE 2022

Whilst LGBTQ+ lives and families are represented in all of our work, we do not offer discreet or specific talks or sessions about Sexuality or Gender Identity. If this is what you are looking for, please let us know and we will be happy to suggest other providers who may be able to help.

No, we do not offer this as a stand-alone session. Consent is integral to all that we do. The values & ethics around consent culture runs through all the Bodies & Relationships work. Click here for further information on Consent.

Comprehensive RSHE contributes to tackling violence against women and girls. The Department of Education and the PSHE Association have created a set of Twilight webinars addressing ‘Tackling sexual abuse and harassment in schools’. Whilst these have been created with teachers and educational professionals in mind – we would urge interested parents/carers & guardians to engage with this content too.

Domestic Abuse – https://pshe-association.org.uk/guidance/ks1-4/dfesexualharassmentwebinars#Webinar_1

Pornography – https://pshe-association.org.uk/guidance/ks1-4/dfesexualharassmentwebinars#Webinar_2

Sexual Exploitation – https://pshe-association.org.uk/guidance/ks1-4/dfesexualharassmentwebinars#Webinar_3

Yes absolutely. Look at our Bodies, Relationships and Substances sessions… We can make all of these as interactive as you wish. If you’d like to have a conversation about group sizes, carousels, drop down days, workshops etc then contact us.