The Department for Education announced changes to Relationships and Sex Education following nationwide consultation. These changes came into effect from September 2020 and all schools are required to comply with the updated requirements. Due to COVID 19, schools have been able to delay this until the summer term 2021. The statutory guidance can be found here.
The new guidance focuses on healthy relationships and keeping children safe in the modern world. It also covers a wide range of topics relating to physical and mental health, well-being, safeguarding and healthy relationships.
Learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up will give children and young people the information, skills and positive values to have safe, fulfilling relationships and help them take responsibility for their own well-being.
Consequently, from September 2020, Relationships, along with Health Education, became statutory, and formed part of the National Curriculum. For Secondary schools, Sex Education also became statutory. However, the DfE continue to recommend that all primary schools should have a sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils.
Where schools provide Sex Education at Key Stages 1 and 2, parents will have the right to withdraw their child from Sex Education but not from statutory Relationships Education, Health Education or what is taught in the Science National curriculum.
Here at Timbertree Academy, puberty is taught as a statutory requirement of Health Education and covered by our Jigsaw PSHE Programme in the ‘Changing Me’ Puzzle (unit). We will however, provide pupils with support and advice from our School Health Advisor if this is needed sooner.
We conclude that sex education refers to Human Reproduction, and therefore inform parents of their right to request their child be withdrawn from the PSHE lessons that explicitly teach this i.e. the Jigsaw Changing Me Puzzle (unit)
e.g. Year 4, Lesson 2 (Having a baby) - this lesson has been incorporated into the Year 5 unit following consultation with parents. This will be reviewed each year.
Year 5, Lesson 4 (Conception)
Year 6, Lesson 4 (Conception, birth)
The school will inform parents of the right to withdraw their children from the lessons above by letter in the Spring Term before the Changing Me Puzzle is taught in the summer term. Any parent or carer who wishes to withdraw their child from a lesson or units of RSE must put their request in writing to the Head of School.
Our Local Governing Body monitor the provision of RSE across the school. The governor for responsibility for RSE is Mr Alex Rawlings.
Here are some useful links for parents and carers:
Department for Education guidance on RSE
EYFS and Relationships Guidance
Jigsaw LGBT Parent Leaflet
RSHE - A Guide for Parents and Carers Leaflet
Jigsaw Curriculum Map
We welcome feedback from parents and carers on our PSHE and RSE programmes. A Microsoft Form is sent out in the Summer Term to collect parental views which will then be reflected in our evaluation and review of policy.