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Sex and Relationship Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL6269, tabled on 23 March 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the recently introduced obligation requiring all secondary schools to teach sex and relationship education requires schools to teach pupils about important relationships other than sexual relationships, particularly the relationships between fathers and sons.

Answered on

30 March 2017

The government announced on 1 March 2017 proposals for statutory Relationships Education in primary schools, Relationships and Sex Education in secondary schools (RSE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE), subject to careful consideration, in all schools. We want all pupils to be taught how to recognise and build healthy relationships of all kinds, including family relationships, friendships and, at the appropriate age, sexual relationships.

We plan to undertake a comprehensive programme of engagement with stakeholders about future provision in these areas. A key element of the engagement process will be gathering views and evidence to enable us to get the balance of subject content right, including through statutory guidance, enabling schools to design appropriate lessons. Regulations and statutory guidance will be subject to a full public consultation later this year and the regulations will be subject to debate and vote in Parliament.

The government’s plan is for schools to teach statutory Relationships Education, RSE, and PSHE (subject to consideration and consultation), from September 2019.

All pupils currently have the opportunity to learn about relationships in the non-statutory PSHE, or as part of the wider school curriculum. Schools are free to draw on the non-statutory programme of study produced by the PSHE Association in planning their provision. The programme of study includes topics, such as relationships and the value of family relationships.