To ask the Secretary of State for Education, by what date schools will start teaching Relationships Education, Health Education and Relationships and Sex Education; and if he will make a statement.
10 June 2020
The Department is committed to supporting all children to grow up happy, healthy and safe, and to provide them with the knowledge they need to manage the opportunities and challenges of modern Britain. That is why all primary age children will be taught Relationships Education, all secondary age children will be taught Relationships and Sex Education, and all children in state-funded schools will be taught Health Education.
The Department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver these subjects. In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching.
Schools that are ready to teach these subjects and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance, including those relating to engagement with parents and carers, are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.
Schools that are not ready to teach these subjects or unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19 should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and commence teaching the new content by at least the start of the summer term 2021.
To ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, schools are encouraged to take a phased approach, if needed, when introducing these subjects. Schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as knowledge on supporting your own and others’ wellbeing will be important as pupils return to schools.