The Church of England has published a Charter and resources to support schools in delivering Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).
The Charter features eight commitments which all schools, Church of England and others, can sign-up to prior to the new guidelines becoming law in autumn 2020.
The Church of England’s lead Bishop for Education, Stephen Conway said in April that RSHE would require a shared duty of care between parents and schools, with the contents of the curriculum discussed and clearly communicated in advance.
To enable this, a skeleton agenda for parents’ meetings has also been published, together with a framework for school staff discussion, a policy template and activities and prayers.
The eight commitments include delivering the curriculum as a professional and identifiable part of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), building resilience of pupils, promoting healthy relationships, using honest and medically accurate information, meeting individual requirements including special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and seeking pupils’ views to make teaching relevant to their lives….
Relationships, Sex and Health Education
Faith sensitive and inclusive Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (RSHE)
From September 2020, all primary schools will be required to teach Relationships Education. They will also be required to teach Health Education. Secondary schools will be required to teach Relationships Education and Sex Education.
The legislation makes it clear that all schools should approach RSHE in a faith sensitive and inclusive way, seeking to explain fairly the tenets and varying interpretations of religious communities on matters of sex and relationships and teach these viewpoints with respect. The Church of England Education Office supports the approach taken by the government, including recommending an age-appropriate provision of sex education at primary level, and is issuing a Charter which we hope schools of all foundations, faiths or otherwise will sign up to as they affirm the broad principles about how RSHE is taught.
The Charter is accompanied by guidance, given to help dioceses and schools as they develop policy in this area. Based in the principles established by the Church of England’s Pastoral Advisory Group which has set out some principles for living well together with difference and diversity and in Valuing All God’s Children, we have developed the following documents:
- Relationships and Sex Education Principles and Charter
- Suggested format for parents’ meetings with associated resources
- Suggested policy template
It is our intention to add to these resources during the year.