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Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 565, tabled on 11 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to introduce misogyny and the treatment of women onto the national curriculum in Personal, Social, Health and Economic education for children aged 11 to 16.

Answered on

19 May 2021

The Department wants to support all young people to lead happy, healthy and safe lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference. That is why the Department has made the new subjects of Relationships Education (for primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (for secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) compulsory from September 2020.

The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance specifically advises schools to be alive to issues such as sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, and to take positive action to tackle these issues. Statutory guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

In primary schools, age-appropriate relationships education involves supporting children to learn about what healthy relationships are and their importance, as well as how to develop mutually respectful relationships in all contexts, including online. In secondary schools, relationships education broadens to become age-appropriate relationships and sex education and will include factual knowledge around sex, sexual health, and sexuality, set firmly within the context of relationships.

Specifically, at secondary school pupils should be taught about the concepts of and laws relating to sexual consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, coercion, harassment, rape, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation.

To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence we have produced RSHE Teacher Training Modules which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. Each module covers safeguarding to make sure teachers, pastoral staff and the designated safeguarding lead are equipped to deal with sensitive discussions and potential disclosures.