Relationships and Sex Education
As you may know, the Government has recently made changes to legislation about sex education in schools. It is now referred to as Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). We have developed a new policy to ensure we are fulfilling our statutory responsibilities well. We have consulted parents on this policy. We will start implementing it in Spring 2021.
There has been a lot of information about RSE in the media over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, some of this has been misleading. The DfE has produced a list of frequently asked questions about the new legislation, which you may find helpful. As in previous versions of Sex and Relationships Education, parents have a right to withdraw their children from the non-statutory components of sex education, taught in Year 6.
The DfE summarise the purpose of relationships education like this:
Relationships Education at primary [is] to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds. This will start with family and friends, how to treat each other with kindness, and recognising the difference between online and offline friendships...The subjects are designed to help children from all backgrounds build positive and safe relationships, and to thrive in modern Britain...Pupils should be taught about the society in which they are growing up. These subjects are designed to foster respect for others and for difference, and educate pupils about healthy relationships. RSE should meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their developing sexuality or identity – this should include age-appropriate teaching about different types of relationships in the context of the law.
In our curriculum, we already do all this, in the following ways:
- Our Behaviour Policy encourages positive, safe, kind relationships.
- Our Computing curriculum includes teaching about online safety.
- Our Cultural Competence curriculum teaches about diversity and equality across the protected characteristics as defined in law.
- Islington's You, Me, PSHE curriculum teaches about healthy, positive relationships with others and different forms of family.
We know that we serve a very diverse community, representing a range of sometimes conflicting views. Our approach to this is to teach children about others, in a positive and respectful way, but never to actively promote any belief system or identity over another. We aim for all our children to develop a positive self-identity, awareness and understanding about people who are different to them and the capacity to relate to others well.
For more detail, including the content we teach, see our RSE Policy.