RSE - Overview

What is Relationships and Sex Education?

Relationships and sex education is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health. Some aspects are taught in science, and others are taught as part of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE).

A comprehensive programme of RSE provides accurate information about the body, reproduction, sex, and sexual health. It also gives children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships and staying safe both on and offline.

Why is Sex and Relationships Education Important in Schools?

High quality RSE helps create safe schools in which pupils can grow, learn, and develop positive, healthy behaviour for life. It is essential for the following reasons:

  • Children and young people have a right to good quality education, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Children and young people want to be prepared for the physical and emotional changes they undergo at puberty, and young people want to learn about relationships. Older pupils frequently say that sex and relationships education was ‘too little, too late and too biological’. Ofsted reinforced this in their 2013 Not Yet Good Enough report.
  • RSE plays a vital part in meeting schools’ safeguarding obligations. Ofsted is clear that schools must have a preventative programme that enables pupils to learn about safety and risks in relationships.